A Secret Grave 8: The Man in a White Linen Suit

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Victor Goodlove’s office was hidden away. A winding driveway led up from the street through a small forest of trees to a parking area and some buildings. I got out of my car and looked around, not quite sure where to go. It was an early February day, the sky white and noncommittal. I’d booked the appointment over the phone with a female receptionist and couldn’t remember what she’d said about office number or suite. As I made my way across the lot, a man came out of one of the buildings and walked toward me. He wore a white linen suit reminiscent of hot summer days or businessmen in the tropics, and had an eager, forward-leaning gait. When we were a few feet from one another he held out his hand. “I’m Dr. Goodlove. You must be Nicole. I’m so happy to meet you. Please follow me and come in.” He shook my hand gently but vigorously and led me into the building, a slim, wiry-looking man in his forties with an inquisitive face and a full head of light brown hair.

There are no existing photographs of Victor. I had to paint the portrait below from memory and use photos that somewhat resemble him like the one at the end of the episode.

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NJ-7216cropped

Dr. Victor Goodlove

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Inside the office, a receptionist sat at the front desk. Dr. Goodlove led me past her with a wave of the hand, and we walked through a door at the opposite end of the empty waiting room, down a short hall and into what I assumed was his private office, a small room with a mahogany desk, a few comfortable chairs and tons of books, magazines, periodicals on the subject of neuroscience. Beneath the desk lay a dog who – did I imagine it? – growled as we entered. “Oh that’s Ranger. Don’t pay any attention to him,” Goodlove said.

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Sable Sunset

Sable Sunset – Blue Heeler, “Y” is for yarn. /\../\, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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I peered uneasily at the dog who was one of those blue-eyed heeler types I’d never been able to connect with because they were neither cute nor sleek nor cuddly. Goodlove gestured to a chair and sat behind the desk, facing me. He was a very tidy-looking man, freshly-laundered pale blue Oxford button down shirt, hair neatly combed, parted to the side, thin, alert, benevolent face that seemed to grow kinder and more handsome each time I saw him. “Tell me a little about yourself,” he said, clasping his hands and leaning forward slightly in his chair.

 

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leaning forward in chair

Peter, Rolands Lakis, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ – Photo Crop

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He didn’t seem interested in why I was there, more about the details of my life – the sort of work I did, was I married? Happy? Did I have children? He watched me intently as I answered these questions. Then, abruptly, he stood up and announced we were ready to go into the treatment room. This surprised me – I still didn’t know anything about how he practiced medicine or what would happen in the treatment room. When I asked he said, “Oh don’t worry. We’ll get to that.” As we left his office, he removed his jacket and put on a white lab coat that had been hanging behind the door.

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To be continued…

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Cover Photo ~ Joost Assink, Film noir 1, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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