April 18th, 2008
It’s just that I’m frustrated. I haven’t wanted to post because I’m irritated, disconcerted, and befouled (does that mean I crapped my pants?). I’ve been bemoaning the state of the medical profession in Southern California, the U.S., the world, although I think healthcare is better in France? Also, maybe Germany? I don’t know. I still bemoan it.
You don’t want to hear any more about my right upper quadrant issues, but let me just ask, if you were a doctor giving test results to someone would you just say “oh, it’s a gallbladder polyp, which is benign in 95% of cases, and a fatty liver, and goodbye.” ?
And then when the patient persists in asking you annoying questions, would you give one word answers and act pissed? Then, would you give no further information and hurry off the phone? And also, would you speak broken English, sometimes leaving out ENTIRE words that link sentences and when the patient doesn’t understand you, get silent and hang up?
If the answer is yes to any of my questions, please take your things and quietly leave the medical profession. And take an English as a Second Language class, and also refresher courses in pre-med, and med and re-do your internship and residency, then call me and I’ll decide whether you can be a doctor again.
So I’ve been upset. I couldn’t post. Because anger gets old, no? So I tried to do something lighthearted, like a writing prompt.
I selected this one:
Writing Prompt #10 – Faking It
Write a story about someone faking a skill to gain the attention of someone else, but it only forces him/her into a situation where s/he must use this skill in order to save him/herself from a bigger threat. Include: a cast-iron lamp, a signed Gibson guitar, two nuns giggling in the corner.
And so I started it with the below:
“Yeah,” I sniffed. “I’m pretty good with the ladies.”
“Like how?” the bartender asked. “Like romantically speaking?”
“Yep,” I ran my fingers through my hair. One snagged on my dreadlock.
“Maybe it’s the hair,” he suggested.
“No, I don’t think so, they just seem to like me.” I shrugged. “Truthfully, I wish they didn’t. It gets so complicated.”
He looked around the bar. “Well what about them?”
The nuns looked up at the bartender’s pointing finger and began to giggle.
Gay, right? Soon as I made that realization, I stopped the prompt and became befouled again.
SO, I decided to write down memories. Things that happened in the past, things already done and over with, things that no longer held the power to befoul and bemoan me.
And that’s what I’m going to do. Until I feel better, I’m posting memories.
I can’t find my dad. I walk throughout the store, looking down each aisle, hoping to spot the white “I’m Not Married and I Don’t Have Kids” letters on his navy t-shirt. I’ve just learned to read, and I’m pretty good at it, spending hours laying on our living room couch, reading book after book.
I love looking at the ceiling fans, the light fixtures, the paint. It smells like wood and turpertine, and I can hear the murmur of other customers, a beeping cash register in the distance. I pretend I’m decorating a playhouse and eventually, I stop in front of a fake fireplace, watching the orange light lick the logs. I want to reach up, pull the glass doors aside and stick my hand in the pretend flames.
But someone grabs my hand and we stay there, gazing at the fireplace for several long seconds. My dad found me, and I squeeze his hand. I’m hypnotized by the fire, but soon, my eyes shift focus to the reflection in the fireplace’s doors and I note that the person standing next to me is wearing a faded blue long-sleeved shirt and tan pants. My eyes slide from our clasped hands, up his arm, to his face. A man about my dad’s age looks down at me, except he’s not balding, instead his sandy brown hair is cut close to his head and he has a wide, white face and flat nose. I unweave my fingers from his and he watches me walk away.
I guess that memory is a little befoulsome. Sorry.