“You can put your clothes back on now,” the doctor said, scribbling angrily in his notepad.
“Finally,” I said, putting my arm into one of the sleeves. “Hey, what exactly are you writing anyway?”
“It’s private,” the doctor said without looking up, “Private medical notes.”
I stood up and pulled the shirt over my head.
“Private…what’s that supposed to mean?” I said, frowning and walking over to him, “Let me see it.” I reached for the book.
“No!” the doctor pouted, pulling it away. “It’s mine.”
“Give me that.” I snatched at the pad, but he held it away at arm’s length. “It’s something bad about me isn’t it? Tell me what it says! What did you write?! Tell me immediately!”
I began to jump for the pad, which he held high above his head,
“Need I remind you—Hmmph!—of the physician’s—Hupph!—code of ethics?!—hyyup!—the withholding of information—rrrrg!—from any patient—hyyah!—is strictly forbidden—umph—under clause—hyyeck—four-thirteen—dammit!”
“Alright, alright,” The doctor sighed, raising his palms in a gesture of surrender, “I’ll tell you.”
I nodded and stepped back, settling to the floor in a cross-legged position.
“Are you aware,” the doctor hesitated, “Are you aware that you’ve got some extra, uh, tissue…some extra tissue there—” He closed one eye, aiming his pen at my shirt, “—on your chest? Are you aware of this?”
“Am I aware of it?” I squinted.
“Yes,” the doctor said, “Are. You. Aware of it?”
“Yes I’m aware of it.” I mumbled.
“My, my, my…” the doctor trailed off and began scratching in his notebook, “Along with abnormally large chest patient ex dash fourteen also displays heightened sense of self-awareness and sudden irrational bouts of childish rage. Further study is warra—”
“Hey!” I shouted, “Hey!” The doctor sat up, startled. I continued: “Can you help me or what?”
“Oh I can help you.” He said, closing the pad and inserting it grandly into in his shirt pocket. “But you’ve got to want it, my boy. You’ve got to be committed. It’s lifelong, this thing of ours. Spare no expense. There are a number of events which must take place; you see…a grueling series of trials…” He trailed off and looked at me, raising his eyebrows.
“I don’t know what you mean.” I said. “I don’t know what any of that means.”
“Oh, you will in due time my bright, beautiful boy,” the doctor narrowed his eyes, “All in due time...”
He settled back in his chair and crossed his arms. He sat still for a few moments, saying nothing. I cleared my throat. He frowned and clicked his tongue against his teeth.
“Could you just tell me now?” I said. “I'd really like to know now.”
“Well it isn’t advisable, but…” he sighed, shaking his head and getting to his feet, “I suppose I could expeciate the process for you, if you insist on being so impatient.” He took out a different notepad and began to write.
“Expedite.” I said.
“Hmm, what’s that?” He said without looking up.
“Expedite. I think you meant ‘expedite the process’.”
“I meant nothing of the sort.” He said, furiously gashing a signature into the bottom of a page and tearing it out. He flung fluttering into the air. I snatched it easily.
“Hah.” I said, placing the paper in my pocket.
The doctor paid me no mind. He now stood at the sink and appeared to be obsessively rinsing his hands.
“Never question a college man.” He said, swishing his arms through the stream, “You’re looking at more than eight straight years of the finest education…uh...Grableton University has to offer.” He puffed out his chest, “Anything less…would be uncivilized.” He began to dry his hands on a towel.
“That was quite a speech.” I said, tilting my head to one side, “But I’m almost positive Grableton is a name you just made up. Also, that last part was from a Charles Barkley deodorant commercial.”
The doctor froze. He turned towards me slowly, eyes aflame.
“How dare you.” He growled through gritted teeth, “How DARE you! You’ve got a hell of a lot of nerve coming in here and saying a thing like that to a medical man, you impudent son of a whore!” He stalked to the door and flung it open. “Get out. Get the hell out of my clinic you lowlife scum. You wretched piece of scum scum.” He stomped over to the wall and quickly returned, placing a large plastic container in my arms. “Get out, and take your damned Sharps Away Hypodermic Needle Disposal Receptacle with you.” He said.
“Um,” I said, struggling to get a grip on the box, “I’m pretty sure this belongs to the room.”
He scowled and shoved me out into the hall. I tumbled backwards, hitting the ground hard. The box sailed from my hands and I heard the sound of shattering plastic behind me. I immediately curled into a ball, as I had trained myself to do as a boy.
I closed my eyes tight; awaiting the blows I was certain would soon begin to rain down upon me.
Soon I heard the door slam. All was quiet. Standing up and rubbing my eyes, I noticed that the broken Sharps container had peppered the hallway with a collection of dirty syringes.
“Yikes,” I said, picking my way carefully towards the waiting room, “That’s probably not safe.”
As I headed out the door of the clinic and into the parking lot, I pulled out the piece of paper the doctor had given me. I unfolded it, reading as I walked.
Please visit Doctor Lukas Corbett, MD.
Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
“Why doctor Menzel....” I said aloud, opening the door to my car “You wily old fox…”
“I’m sorry, what was that?” asked an elderly woman who happened to be walking by.
“It wasn’t anything,” I snarled. “Beat it you old buzzard.”
“Well I never!” The old woman said, flipping her purse over her shoulder.
I climbed in my car and gunned the engine. I was going to pay this new doctor a visit.
A visit he would not soon forget.