I run into my friend Tommy at Subway and ask him about our mutual friend, Gary, whose sorry-ass I haven’t seen in a while.
“Where’s he been lately?” I ask. “Homeless?”
“Didn’t you hear? He’s in the hospital, under quarantine.”
“Quarantine? Really? What for?”
“I dunno. Something he picked up in a swamp, I think.”
“Is it serious?”
Tommy shrugs. “It must be for them to isolate him like that.”
Tommy’s wife Janice comes out of the bathroom holding their one-year-old son, Jeremy, whose shrill screams echo around the restaurant.
“Thomas!” Janice says. “Come on, let’s go!” She marches toward the exit with the squealing baby.
Tommy puts his hand on the side of his mouth, leans toward me and mutters, “Wish I could catch whatever Gary has. I could use a little isolation myself.”
“Ain’t that the truth,” I say only because it’s expected of me.
“Thomas! Now!” Janice yells.
I want to wish him good luck but don’t want to get him into any more hot water with the missus.