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In response to her husband’s question about Sinatra Gabrielle deadpanned, “Sinatra? I thought that was Michael Buble.”

“Funny. So that took a while, what did the doctor’s office have to say?”

“Well there was some confusion at first. The gal who answered the phone was really just a regular old office receptionist and when I told her that Dr. Regillo requested that I call and make an appointment she tried to pull up my account which obviously didn’t exist. Apparently the super-secret-password was Ocata Trial because she transferred me to a Dr. Marnie.

“Doc Marnie had the skinny on setting up test subjects but even so she had to put me on hold while she accessed my email and records. To make a long story short we have an appointment Friday at one o’clock and after the exam they should be able to know pretty quickly if I’ll be in the next round. Doctor Marnie was very sympathetic but completely non-comital which I realize is the correct message to send but it did nothing to allay my anxiety.

“I’m just trying to keep my enthusiasm from wiping out my common sense, you know?”

“Yeah, I do know,” Adriel responded. “It’s hard isn’t it? You want to go all in and get super psyched and just grab that goblet of hope and drink all the damn Kool-Aid but you know Jim Jones might just be sitting there in Guyana laughing at you.”

“Whoa! That got significantly dark and depressing way too fast! Gotta have hope, right, my love?”

“Yeah. Guess it did. Sorry.”

“You know I’m here for you, right, babe?”

“Yes. Yes I do. So, did this Marnie person give you any indication of how long the treatments would take or how much time we’d be spending in Philadelphia once you’re in?” The pause that followed the when question was improbably short. “If you are in I mean.”

“Well, no. I mean, why would she, right? Hey, I know you don’t want me to get my head in the clouds but we still need room to dream, right?”

Adriel paused for a moment to collect his thoughts before answering. “Absolutely. Sorry, sweetie. You know who else is from Philadelphia? Rocky Balboa. I think we’re gonna play rope-a-dope with your Stargardt’s.”

“There you go. That’s my Adriel. Give me a second, okay? I’m going to call my mom.”

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