Scene: Small doctor's office. Slatted shade is drawn, masking off gray daylight beyond a full height window. Shelves align the walls, each crammed full of paper files with last names written in thick black strokes across the tab. Dr. Raff is seated at the desk, typing on a computer keyboard. When I approach, he looks up.
Dr. Raff: Come on in, Dade. How've you been?
Dade: Doing well, Doctor Raff. Thanks for asking.
Dr. Raff: Okay, well... I checked you out... eyes, ears, and throat look good. Blood pressure where it should be. Heart and lungs sound good. No swollen glands. Have you had your vision checked?"
Dade: Yeah, I got a prescription last year.
Dr. Raff: Teeth?
Dade: Twice a year check-ups.
Dr. Raff: Good, good. So, how long have you been married now?
Dade: Um... four years.
Dr. Raff: Good, good.
Dade: Well, now that that's out of the way, what do you think?
Dr. Raff, smiling: About the world?
Dade: Just so.
Dr. Raff: Obama's gone over to the dark side with Israel.
Dade: Do tell.
Dr. Raff: Israel decided five years ago that they wanted to do Iran. And they're going to do it.
Dade: World War Three, then, Doctor?
Dr. Raff: Oh, yeah. Iran and Syria stuffed a bunch of missiles in Lebanon. They're ready. Hezbollah has missiles, too. Israel has already said what will happen if missiles cross into their territory. They'll turn Mecca into glass.
Dade: Grim, Doctor. So, I take it you don't like Obama?
Dr. Raff, scoffing: Mister Obama, keep the change. He's just Bush Lite. But really, it's not his fault. He's trapped by global politics. It doesn't really matter who the president is. We're not going to leave Iraq. All we have to do is look the other way and let the Sunnis and Shiites mix it up and we're back. Think about it. Why are we in Afghanistan? Two reasons: the natural gas wells in the Caspian and to prepare for war with China. Which is coming.
Dade: Why war with China?
Dr. Raff: Energy. We put a military presence between them and the Middle East, where the last available petroleum reserves are. Did you know the world reached peak oil production capacity on December 17th, 2007?
Dade: So, you buy the "peak oil" theory?
Dr. Raff: The sine qua non of modern society is electrical energy. In the Third World, power grids are on line for only 25% of the day.
Dade: You're talking about the end of civilization, Doctor.
Dr. Raff: Do you store any food?
Dade: Not really, no.
Dr. Raff, shrugging: You might want to do that.
Dade: Well, Doctor Raff, I suppose you and I only have another 40 years, max, to worry about it.
Dr. Raff, snorting: I'm not going to live that long.
Dr. Raff, standing and extending his hand: Anyway, Dade, everything looks good. Keep going on the weight loss. Stay healthy. And we'll see you next year.
Dade: Thanks, Doctor Raff. We'll see you.