“Losing Denny” by Richard Cass

At first, the barium enema cramped up Albert's gut so that he believed he really would rather die, but he had gotten used to worse feelings than that, and when the nurse tsk'ed and connected a second bag of solution, he pushed his face into the pillow to keep from laughing. Louise had told him plenty of times he was full of crap, and here was her proof. Later, in the office, Dr. Stoddard rested his thick hand on Albert's shoulder before he moved around behind the walnut desk. Alert as a bird to weather, Albert detected the trace of sadness in Tom's manner. It amazed him to think that they had known each other for forty years. "I'd appreciate it if you called me directly with the results," Albert said. "This is a rough time for Louise."

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