Exiting Time

Words Over Time

aleXander hirka
3 min readSep 8, 2020


“Exiting Time” (8 August 2020) — digital collage by AleXander Hirka

I’ll take a new prognosis—or a good tall tale, Doc, whatever you got—said Zach Gifford.

With a sly smile from Dr. Bruno:
Okay, here goes:
What Currier & Ives were to printmaking, Lennon & McCartney to songs, Laurel & Hardy to comedy, well— Collagen & Calcium are to bones.
Sorry I can’t provide a good example to suit your profession, Mr. G—but I don’t recall any teams of fiction writers.
(The Doctor calls his patients by first letter/last name—Ms. B, Mrs. C—and always a pun on mystery for Mr. Edwards.)

It’s indeed a tricky proposition, Doc, for writers to work together. The Australians had a few teams, and I recall hearing about a collective novel written by some hundred-plus Italians. . .

Pretty much a solitary calling. Certainly moreso than being a doctor. Your work derives energy from other writers, nutrients absorbed from the soil of the past, but ultimately the new tree—ah, that beauty is yours alone.

Nicely put. But most creations are just scraggly bushes, often getting blown over by the wind, or not making it out of seed at all.
Just remembered—Ken Kesey wrote a novel once with the writing class he was teaching.
But we’ve digressed, Doc—you were saying something about bones.

Indeed. Bones. Spine. Vertebrates—that’s the big word for all of us. And when I say “us” I am including Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the snake in the Garden of Eden, Kermit the frog, Cleo the goldfish and off course a certain Mr. G who is hunched over here in front of me.

Clever! Maybe you should write a book. Lots of doctors have. Anton Chekhov, William Carlos Williams . . .

I’ve no imagination for such things. Wouldn’t know where to begin. Words are so complicated.
I set out to write a short story years ago, when I got back from a vacation in Pompeii, based and named after the lung disease people get from living near volcanos—but really it was just about the joke of putting across the title: “Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis”.

And as to words—for your situation Mr. G, the words remain Scoliosis and



aleXander hirka

Writer, visual artist, philosopher, autodidact, curmudgeon. More than half of what i do is make believe. https://alexanderhirka.nyc