Richard is thinking about Mary. She’s not one of those women who expects a man to have climbed Everest or to engage weekly in skydiving or in Rugby. She does not assume that he can and will repair anything from a table to a space-shuttle. He will not be mocked by her for not recognising the latest musicians, actors or other celebrities or for not recognising their works. She just likes him, Richard: quiet, lone, philosopher at heart.
Chuck is thinking about Britney. She just loves to join him on his motorbike and she is always keen to reward, in her most excellent and feminine ways, his fixing of the failing items in her apartment. Her means of expressing her appreciation of his changing her car’s oil makes him do so with a frequency beyond that recommended in the vehicle’s manual. He always feels empowered when she cheers him on at the game on the weekend and he’s noticed the appreciative glances that her curves gain from the other players.
The white-coated figure strolled confidently down the corridor, clip-board at the ready. He paused.
“How are we today, Richard?” he asked, exuding a professional cheerfulness.
“Eh? I’m not…”
“Oh — oh — I’m sorry. Of course. How are we today, Chuck?”, he corrected himself, his cheer now of a temperature that might at any moment melt the calming, green paint from the walls.
“I’m… I’m… George!”
White-coat, eyes shining with a professional’s excitement, took his glasses from his pocket, polished them on his sleeve, placed them on his nose, and, incongruously, peered over the top of them at the other; then, noting the time from his watch, he started a new page on the notepad on his clip-board.
“George, eh? So, now you’re George…”