Wednesday, February 02, 2005

3:01 AM


Up. Slouched in my chair. John Henry Giles's trumpet case open on my lap.

I am still stunned, blown away, utterly astounded by this gift. (If I were hip, I suppose I would say "gobsmacked.") I trace the velvet lining with my fingertips. I could never play it, even if I knew how. I haven't even dared to lift it out of the case yet.

I'm glad he understands. I'm glad he's glad to be alive. I'm glad he's forgiven me for intubating him and dragging him down to MRI. I would have done the same thing whether or not he was glad or grateful or whatever. But I'm still... deeply affected to have received his gratitude.

He gave me his trumpet!

I am tired in a way that brings new meaning to the word. This case just wore me out -- body, mind, and shriveled black soul. The court thing, the case thing, the maneuvering around Foreman thing, the dealing with Doc Marty Botox Hollywood thing, the worrying that we might have not only killed John Henry Giles but earned his undying hatred thing....

Foreman. Apologizing not for saying what he said, but for happening to say it when I was there! How contemptible. I'm so disappointed. I hadn't thought he was that craven.

But I'll think about Foreman later. I got to meet John Henry Giles. I saved John Henry Giles's life. John Henry Giles gave me his trumpet.

Does he think I'm a junkie? I'm not. I'm not a junkie. And I don't think he would have given me his trumpet if he thought so. Would he?

I pick up my mug and take a swallow of tea. Blech -- it's gone cold. And the color -- I have to stop myself from mentally comparing it to the color chart on the can of urine dipsticks.

I was in the grocery store and saw a display of herbal teas and thought, you know, why the hell not? So I looked them over and picked out the "Nighty-night Blend." It has a picture of a bear asleep in a four-poster bed. How cute. It looks like an illustration for "Goodnight Moon." There wasn't a bear in that book, though, was there? Just bunny rabbits. Maybe this is from the director's cut, where the bear comes in and eats the comb and eats the brush and eats the old lady whispering hush, and then scares off the little rabbit and goes to sleep in his bed. That was morbid even for me, wasn't it? I have got to get some sleep.

I went to bed at around eleven-thirty but stared at the ceiling for about a half hour before I finally dropped off. I didn't sleep well and woke up again around one-thirty or two. I got up, nuked a cup of water in the microwave, and made this tea stuff. I took a couple of sips, but its alleged hypnotic properties were not immediately apparent, so that's how I made my way out to the living room and started contemplating the trumpet.

I had forgotten to tell Wilson about the trumpet until he was over the other night, and in a way I'm glad, because it got me out of a damned awkward moment. We'd come over to my place for dinner. I went over to the piano to get my Vicodin, and what do I find under it but a note from the cleaning lady? I'd totally forgotten she was coming that day. James was giving me a look, and I was too tired and sore to make some kind of snappy retort, and he was in the right anyway. She could have helped herself to a couple of pills and I might never have known. But then he noticed the trumpet, so I got to show it to him and we started talking about other things. The moment he left, I shook the pills out on the table and counted them, and tried to think back as best I could to count how many I'd taken since I'd gotten that refill.

I don't think she stole any. I don't think so.

I look at my disgusting cold tea and start doing the mental equation about whether it's worth my while to warm it up in the microwave. Well, why not? It's on the way back to the bedroom.

I close the trumpet case, put it on the coffee table, haul myself out of my chair, grab the mug, and head back to the kitchen. I put it in the microwave and punch in 90 seconds. The mug starts its slow rotation.

Microwaves. Cora didn't strike me as being the fizziest beer in the six-pack, but she seems like a loyal, affectionate woman and I bet she knows how to run a microwave. Not even John Henry Giles has to warm up his own slimy cold tea in the microwave.

I bet he's got honey in his pantry, too, and not just sugar packets lifted from his workplace's cafeteria. The microwave beeps. I pull out the tea and dump four packets of sugar in -- that should be enough to make anything taste good.

My right leg is starting to shake a little. I'd better get back to bed. I grab the mug with my left hand and start back to the bedroom. The tea sloshes in the mug as I lurch down the hall.

Was he right? Are people like us -- people like me -- doomed to be alone? It can't be true. Like I said, he's got Cora to warm up his tea. I bet she even meets him at his door with a drink and a kiss.

I put the tea -- and hook my cane -- on the nightstand, and get into bed. Wilson's the only person so far who knows about the trumpet. I haven't told anyone else. There's only one person in the world who I think would fully understand how much this means to me, and I haven't told her. I haven't dared. I've been calling her up in my head: Hi, it's me, Greg, guess what? I met John Henry Giles, and he gave me his trumpet! But I haven't called her for real. Partly because I tend to be up gazing at the trumpet at hours like three o'clock in the morning, and she probably wouldn't appreciate my ringing her up at that hour. And partly because... because I just don't know what I would say to her. I haven't talked to her in so long, and I would feel so awkward just calling her up out of the blue, just assuming that she would want to hear from me.

When I think of her, I feel so ashamed of what I have become.

The tea is hot, but now it's so sweet it's almost undrinkable. "Night-night Blend." Villainous charlatan liars. I reach over and, with a savage growl, snap off the light.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Greg, what're we going to do with you? You're making me feel very sad right now. (gena)

February 03, 2005 2:32 PM  
Blogger PipTook said...

Talk to her, House. Otherwise you will drive yourself crazy wondering "What if?"

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'"
-John Greenleaf Whittier

February 03, 2005 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be so hard on Foreman. He made the right choice, in the end.

This was too funny: "It has a picture of a bear asleep in a four-poster bed. How cute. It looks like an illustration for "Goodnight Moon." There wasn't a bear in that book, though, was there? Just bunny rabbits. Maybe this is from the director's cut, where the bear comes in and eats the comb and eats the brush and eats the old lady whispering hush, and then scares off the little rabbit and goes to sleep in his bed." I wish I make insightful comments like this when I have insomnia.

Re: "Are people like us -- people like me -- doomed to be alone?"

Is it that bad being along?

February 03, 2005 10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, yeah just some constructive criticism. You dont sound anything like Greg House, you show too much emotion. You spent far too long thinking about how huge a person John Henry Giles is, House was by no means starstruck at any point in the episode so why make him so in your blog? To house every patient is the same, simply another case. Try to stay in character, not create a new one altogether.

March 28, 2006 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous march 28. There's no way this sounds like house. Do you even watch the show? And all you other people commenting like this is actually "Gregory House" or "Hugh Laurie" get a life. Sorry but this is one of the worst sites I've come across pertaining to House M.D.

January 11, 2009 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i fully agree with the two previous comments. This isn't his character at all.

March 22, 2009 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

f you're going to put all of this effort into pretending to be House, at least give his character a once-over - because you're failing at it. House has an incredibly intricate and developed personae - your interpretation of it does no justice to the real thing.

March 22, 2009 10:01 PM  

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