The blood pressure cuff bit into my upper arm.
He had to try twice before he found a cuff that was tight enough.

"Your arm might start to tingle after awhile," the examiner said. "But hang on."

The other sensors were already in place, much tighter this time.

The famous photo of Ernest Hemingway at the typewriter hung on the wall beside him.
He sat behind his instruments, pens recording away on the scrolls of paper,
but of course I couldn't look at them. This time I stared
at a cartoonish painting of a row of San Francisco Victorians,
a Volkswagen parked at the curb.

I remembered when Mark and I were driving across Tennessee on a grim January day.
The asphalt was rain-black. Trucks sat motionless at odd angles on the center divide
as if a giant child had just strewn and abandoned them, forgotten toys.
"I think we're on glare ice," Mark said, and didn't slow from 60 nor take his eyes from the road.

It was just like that. Answering this man was like driving fast on glare ice.
The slightest move, the smallest lapse, and I'd lose traction
even though the questions seemed innocuous enough.

My arm throbbed from the cuff's persistent squeeze and my hand jumped
just like that of its own accord.

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