Brenda asked Keith to take a seat at the center bar in her kitchen. It was made of marble and had a speckled design of silver and black and had the capacity to seat up to eight people.
As Keith started to lower himself into a stylish, modern chair, Brenda noticed that he was having a difficult time seating himself. She could hear him utter an audible groan.
“Keith, are you in pain?” Brenda asked, her voice registering noticeable concern.
“Yes. Unfortunately, today it is particularly bad. I have my good days and my bad days. Sometimes I have good months and bad months,” Keith answered.
“How long have you suffered like this?”
“For most of my adult life. I think it began in my mid-30s. One day I was performing a weight resistance exercise at the gym, when I felt a horrendous shot of pain in my lower back. From then on, I’ve had nothing but trouble with my lower back. Fortunately, it will sometimes go into remission for two or three months. Just to make the pot a little bit sweeter, I also developed a serious case of fibromyalgia in my forties.”
“Is fibromyalgia what they used to call the ‘yuppie flu’”?
“Actually,chronic fatigue syndrome was usually a condition that earned that unfortunate moniker, but I’m sure that fibromyalgia would also fall under the same umbrella.”
“So how do you cope with the pain?”
“By God’s grace and the compassion of my family doctor, Dr. Rickland who prescribes a daily dose of Tylenol threes and naproxen to treat my chronic pain syndrome.”
“Does it work for the pain?”
“To some extent, but not entirely. It helps to numb the pain enough so that I can continue working on a part-time basis. When my condition really gets bad, I have to take a month to six weeks off work and see my chiropractor on almost a daily basis.”
“Has chiropractic helped?”
“I believe so, but doesn’t stop the pain right away.”
“Have you ever smoked marijuana, Keith?” Brenda asked. Oh, before you answer, I’m going to make some Tim Horton’s coffee and bring out a plate of home baked oatmeal and raisin cookies.”
“Are they big?” Keith asked.
“I haven’t heard any guys complain about the size?”
Keith looked startled for a second and then burst out laughing.
“I was referring to the cookies, but I enjoy them large and firm in both contextual meanings.”
“My God, Keith. You are a funny man. I think we both needed a good laugh.”
“Now back to my original question. Have you ever smoked marijuana?