Since it was Saturday night I took him over to Local Hospital's urgent care. Yep, his throat looked bad. Yep, the rapid screen was positive. The doctor called in Streptokill, and I stopped at 24-Hour Pharmacy to pick it up. Frank stayed in the car to post Instagram photos of his gross-looking pharynx (in retrospect buying him that zoom lens set wasn't a great idea).
The pharmacy is one of the generic box ones you see on every street corner in America. And, I have to say, it's probably the most depressing place in the world to be at 8:45 p.m. on Valentine's day.
In my brief time there I watched as bored employees marked down chocolates to get rid of them (they probably knew my Mom was coming in the morning). A guy ran in, frantically grabbed whatever teddy bear was left in a display, threw money at the cashier, and headed out again.
Another glanced over the few residual sad-looking roses, pulled out the one with the most remaining petals, checked out, and started to leave. In a sudden burst of optimism, he turned around and walked back to get condoms, too.
The pregnant cashier (who'd just returned from her smoking break) was mumbling on her cell phone "he's such an asshole. I'm fucking working tonight so he can stay home and watch TV. No, maybe tomorrow. I have to pick something up at McGrease for him to eat when I get home."
The pharmacist and I knew each other from multiple shared patients, and her area was quiet at the moment. We chatted for a few minutes as she filled Frank's script, commiserating about junkies, crazies, and other denizens of our lives. Then she said she had to get ready for post-Valentine's morning, and went to make sure she had enough Flagyl and Plan B in stock.
On the way out I watched a few more desperate-looking guys run in to buy marked-down chocolates and cards. And, with perfect timing, the generic 80's overhead pop soundtrack played the J. Geils Band's "Love Stinks."
When I got back to the car, Frank had barfed in the back seat.