uzz Lightyear. Balloons. And babies.
What do the three of these things have in common? They all start with the letter “B”. Also, they were all present with me in my doctor’s waiting room.
It would be best if I explained.
I think so.
You see, a few weeks ago I had a regular physical scheduled—well, I don’t know how ‘regular’ it was; I hadn’t had one of these in years. And if I knew that a conniving little assistant, a person determined to drag my pale body into the office, was on the other end of the phone, I never would have answered the bloody thing. But, quesera, sera. The fates conspire as they may.
To be honest, doctors creep me out. (I know, not the most original of predilections—amiright? It’s like saying that astronauts and fireman instill me with a sense of boyish wonder.) Something about them, though, unsettles me. Like a greasy salesman, trying to slip through the cracks of life. Part of me believes that they only took up the profession to evade the jinx of ill health, because who ever heard of a doctor getting sick? It’s the perfect charm to ward off bodily bad fortune.
But the Powers That Be want me to go to see my doctor? Fine, I guess I’ll go then.
On a rather overcast afternoon, I slipped into my Malibu and sped over to my physician’s. On the way I tried to keep myself occupied. This was accomplished by nibbling on an apple. (I didn’t smoke, as I wanted to appear presentable to those who would be examining me. Nothing says that less than by smelling like Chicago after the Great Fire).
Two blocks away from the building, I stopped at a light. As a cat plays with a mouse, so too did the light play with me—it batted my expectations this way and that—green, yellow, red, green, no turn on left, fuck!
Eventually I made the turn. During the final leg of my journey Stairway to Heaven played on the radio. This doesn’t bode well, I thought. I parked my car and approached the door. While doing this, I mentally parsed out my meager possessions, due to—or so I thought—my soon-to-be corpse-like state. Who am I going to leave with all my shitty writings?
On my way to the door I spotted a cat. It was most likely a stray. “Hello, cat,” I hailed. He—or she—looked at me with dead eyes, in an attempt to intimidate me. “Hey, fuck you cat!”
I entered. The stale artificial air hit me. Something else too struck me as odd. But I could not quite place what it was.
Sauntering up to the main desk, I made myself known to the receptionist. She was nice. I think I made her laugh about something or another. After confirming my appointment, I turned around and took stock of my surroundings. And that’s when it dawned on me: this was a pediatrician’s office!
The colorful assortment of effin’ cartoon characters on the walls confirmed this.
I walked back up to the same receptionist. This time I did my best to speak in a deep, adult, voice, while at the same time making emphasis to my old man blazer getup. I asked her “why in God’s name was I in a medical facility for children?” I felt like I was in that scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, when Jason Segal gets his penis examined while on a toy fire truck.
Responding calmly, she told me that due to the current economic climate, the pediatrician in question and his brother—he ran the adult facility—combined resources. Oh, great. Lollipops for everyone! And I mean that in the most literal way—there were lollipops on hand.
So I sat on a tiny red chair and waited to be called.
Surprisingly, it didn’t take all that long.
I sat my ass down on the noisy meatpacking paper and did some more waiting. The door in my room was open a smidge and I noticed a patient exiting. He was in a suit. Suddenly it didn’t feel so weird being here.
It took about five minutes, but in walked my doctor. I soon noticed that she wasn’t one of the brothers—the primary clue being that she was a she. Large offices like this have many practicing MDs on staff, so I really wasn’t too taken aback. My mind definitely does wander, but it’s not like I thought she killed the fraternal duo and took over their practice.
Though, what a story that’d be—doctors are suppose to be comfortable around blood, right?
Anyway, we went through the laundry list of questions. She expressed concern at my low weight, but continued rattling off the standard enquiries. Then she asked, “Do you work out?”
Primarily due to boredom and that I like to get a rise out of people, I facetiously replied, “You tell me.”
I smiled and said, “Actually, I have some fifteen pound free weights in my room.” I paused for a moment. “I call ‘em fifteen-pounders.”
She may have grinned at that; I can’t remember. But she wrote something down all the same. My guess is that she scribbled, “Lifts ‘weights’—maybe?”
Finally, wrapping up our little session she ordered some blood work done. As if remembering a long forgotten fact, she shuffled through my history. “What college do you go to again?”
“I’ll add some STD tests then.”
I always am very proud of my university’s legacy. At least she didn’t ask me about the football team.
I left, happy I was still alive. For the time being, my skeletal shell of a body remains ticking.
When I returned to my car, I noticed the half-eaten apple from earlier. I picked it up and examined the variety of teeth marks on its surface—they were like acne, but on food. Does that mean it was blemished, unfit to be eaten, or more human-like and fit for praise? At the time I didn’t care. Riding high on my bill of good health, I threw it out the window, where it surprisingly landed in a trashcan.
Afterwards, I lit a cigarette.