William stared out of his office window overlooking the hospital.
“I turned forty-two last week,” he said to no one in particular.
“Oh, happy birthday,” said Tanner, his assistant.
“Save it. It sucks.”
William examined Tanner closely. “How old are you?”
“Twenty-six,” replied Tanner. William found Tanner’s ebullient nature irritating.
“I have underwear older than you,” snapped William.
“Maybe your should invest in a new pair,” said Tanner, with a sly grin.
“That’s not the point,” said William. He stretched in his chair. “When you get to my age you realize a few things.”
“Is this what a midlife crisis looks like? You’re not going to do anything reckless, are you?”
William glared at Tanner. “Like what?”
“I don’t know. Like replace your forty year old wife for two twenties,” suggested Tanner.
“Look at me. What twenty year old would date this? I still can’t believe any woman married me.”
“Especially a woman as attractive as your wife, if you don’t mind me saying.”
“It’s true, and I do mind you saying it,” snapped William. “I was thinking career change.”
“What would you do?”
“I’m not exactly qualified for anything else.”
“Maybe you could go back to school,” suggested Tanner.
“Wouldn’t that be fun,” said William, sarcastically. “Nothing like hanging out with kids to remind you how old you are.”
“I’m not much older than a college student.”
“You know what really stinks? Seeing all those people my own age who are so happy with their lives. It makes me wonder what’s wrong with me that I’m so miserable,” lamented William.
“Godliness with contentment is great gain,” mumbled Tanner.
“What did you say?”
“It’s nothing. Just something my grandpa used to say. I’m not sure anyone is actually any happier. You should know that, hearing people’s problems every day.”
“It’s the curse of the psychiatrist. That reminds me. Don’t I have an appointment at three?”
Tanner flipped through the appointment book. “Addiction recovery group.”
William rose from his chair and stretched. “Back to the grind.”
“Dr. Purcell, what are you going to do about, well, what we just talked about?”
“Simple. I’ll buy a Porsche. Call the dealer and arrange for a test drive,” said William, as he confidently strode out the door.
Tanner shook his head. “Whatever you say. You’re the expert.”