We take him to the doctor.
What do you want on your face? said the nurse.
Godzilla, he said. She painted his face like Godzilla.
Rawr, he said.
Hello, Godzilla, I said.
They plugged his brain into a machine at the hospital. They called it “The Big Brain.” They filled his head up with red and green wires.
Son, are you in there? I said. Where is he, who’s got my son? Who took my son?
The Big Brain beeped.
My son threw his arms. I surrender, he said.
Don’t move, said the doctor.
Right on, Doctor, said my son.
Who’s this? said the nurse.
Who, me? I said.
Oh, him, I said. That’s Godzilla.
Rawr, she said.
Rawr, said my son.
The nurse smoothed his hair through the wires.
The Big Brain made a buzz.
Son, what’s your status, I said. What’s your frequency, boy?
He was white where he should be red and red where he should be white.
What’s wrong with him? I said.
We consulted a long paper printing from a slot.
The nurse gathered it up, showed me—red little lines, green little lines.
These little lines? she said.
Green? she said. A-OK.
Red? she said. She left the room.
The doctor disregarded the reading. He put his ear to the Big Brain and whacked it.
The boy wiggled.
You’re alright, son. You’re coming in just fine.
I asked the doctor, I mean is he emotionally disturbed, Doctor?
I said to my son, Should we put him down?
The doctor turned around finally to face us. He took off his gloves.
Long Beach (Washington, not California) native, Cabdriver takes inspiration from the wildlife around him, the wildlife far below him when he’s out in his boat, and the wildlife he used to see as a child during his short visits to the Oregon Zoo. Cabdriver has been a writer-in-residence at the Sou’wester on fifteen separate occasions. And still nobody remembers him!