Die Mad About It

I make it a rule never to talk here about anything personal that clients tell me. Actually it’s part of the professional code of ethics we sign on to. So you are not going to hear anything that would remotely identify the guy I’m starting to hope I never see again, or any but the broadest mention of his life and doings.

He’s been coming for years. Various quirks, but the kind you can work around. Until now.

His work, before he retired, was in a field that would expose him to a daily dose of news. So I got nothing. Maybe he decided to retire from watching the news too. Because throughout the pandemic, he’s been calling every couple of months to ask if I were seeing clients yet. And every time I answered “no, because we’re still having a pandemic” he would hurry to reassure me “But I’m CLEAN!”


So finally he gets vaccinated, and we make a date. He shows up on my porch without a mask. I mime through the storm door window that he should put one on. He makes a disgusted gesture and walks back to his car, returning caparisoned in a mask bearing the logo of his favorite football team. “Do I have to keep this on the whole time?” he asks whinily. I remind him that Delta is running around out there and I am not taking chances.

Almost as soon as he lies down on the table, he lifts it away “to take a breath.”

I retreat to the hallway.

A few minutes later he says “It’s hard to breathe through these things.”

I get a three-ply surgical mask from the courtesy box by the door and say “These are easier to breathe through. Compliments of the house.” Okay, one general fact about him: he dropped a remark once, back in the Before times, that made it clear he was a garden variety homophobe. I made sure to hand him a lavender mask (I have a tasteful selection of pastels).

Not typically for him, he says “I’ll have to call you” when the time comes to make the next appointment.

Yesterday Tina, the colleague who gives me my massage, and has worked on this dude occasionally when I’m loaded up, tells me she ran into his personal trainer, with whom we’e both on chatting terms. “X is pissed at you,” she said. “He told Mike YOU MADE HIM WEAR A MASK.”

A week later this is what’s on his mind. Some people don’t have enough to do.

Not a MAGA, not a science-denier, not a wingnut so far as I can tell. Just someone who doesn’t fucking GET IT.

Yup. I made you wear a mask. Even if we’re both vaccinated, because this is not over. And so will Tina, if you go to her. Even if she’s got asthma and is the one doing the work. You can breathe through it just fine. You’re no more impervious to this thing than anyone else. Die mad about it.

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