Wednesday, February 23, 2005



I was vaguely aware that D had been complaining of dizzy spells for a couple of days.

"It's a good thing you are off today," LZ said. "D has to go to the doctor."

"What for?" I asked.

"He was throwing up half the night," LZ said. "How could you have missed all the commotion?"

"I guess I was sleeping," I said.

"You have to get an afternoon appointment," LZ said. "He's got the play this morning."

"He's at school?" I asked.

"He felt well enough to go, and he didn't want to miss the play, but I still think he should see the doctor."

"OK," I said.

"Just call the office, make an appointment, and make sure you get to school in time to sign him out and get him to the office. It could take a while for them to page him and for him to get his stuff. Get to school at least 45 minutes before the appointment."

"OK," I said.


"How do you feel?" I asked D.

"I think I'm fine now," he said.

"No more dizziness? I asked. "No throwing up?"

"I said. I'm fine," D said.

"So this doctor visit, it's probably a waste of time, then," I said.

"Probably," he said.

"Well, let's get going," I said. "We wouldn't want to be late."


I remembered the doctor from when the Things were born. She had burst into the hospital room and made a few pronouncements in a thick East European accent.

"Now, the hard part is just starting. You think it is over, but no. Now the hard part starts. You mark my words."

"Come see me in a week or so. Maybe ten days. You make the appointment."

"Do not use wipes on the bottom. Paper is fine. Wipes. Bah. A waste of money."

She burst out.

"What in the name of God was that?" I asked LZ.

"She's our pediatrician," LZ said.


We were in the examining room.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Dr. GN again," I said to D.

"You know her?" he asked.

"We go way back," I said.

And as if on cue, Dr. GN exploded into the room and began barraging D with questions.

"So, you are sick."

"And what is the problem?"

"Dizziness? Dizzy spells? How often? And you did not faint?"

"And the vomiting. How many times? Before meals, or after? Do you feel nausea now"

"Headache? Pain anywhere?"

"Appetite? You have appetite?"

"Is the throat sore? I'll check now. Open wide. There is no strep. We don't have to test."

"Now we check your brain. Because of the dizziness."

"Stand up straight. Now put your arms out like monster. Like zombie. Now, with eyes closed, count to fifteen."

"No. No No. Arms must be out straight, and also hands. Like this. Watch me."

"One, two, three, four.... Now I am dizzy. Maybe I faint. Maybe my brain is wrong. Ha."

"Now I am fine. I will just sit down for a moment. In one moment I will feel better."

"And you, your brain is fine. You have a little congestion. Maybe a virus. Who knows what goes around. Take decongestant. I have samples. In one week, maybe ten days come back for recheck. You make appointment."


"You were right," D said, "that was a waste of time."

"Better safe than sorry," I said. "Let's get home."

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


The Characters:

ME: Me
CUC: Credit Union CLerk
HELEN: The Supervisor
WOMAN: The Woman Behind Me In Line
MAN: The Man Behind Her
THE LINE: Starts out as a quiet inconsequential charcter, grows steadily during the course of the narrative, eventually turning into a loud, unruly beast.

The Dialogue:

ME: I'd like to take my money out of this account.

CUC: You can't take out any money without an ID.

ME: Here it is.

CUC: This account is moribund.


CUC: You can't withdraw money from a moribund account.

MAN: Is that you?

WOMAN: Lordy.

ME: Why not?

CUC: Because it's moribund.

MAN: How long has it been seen I seen you? Six months? When we used to smoke outside the building.

ME: If I can't withdraw my money, I'll just close the account.

CUC: First I have to reopen the account.

WOMAN: It's longer than six months, because I quit smoking seven months ago.

MAN: You didn't!

WOMAN: Yes, I did.

MAN: You didn't.

WOMAN: Over seven months.


CUC: I can't reopen accounts. I have to get my supervisor.


MAN: Now why you go and quit smoking?

CUC: Helen!

WOMAN: For the health. It's bad for the lungs.

MAN: Bah.

CUC: Can you reopen this account?

WOMAN: And for the kids. They wouldn't give me no peace. Couldn't smoke in the house. Couldn't smoke in the basement. Couldn't even smoke on the stoop without them saying something.

MAN: What they say?

HELEN: He has to fill out this form to reopen it.

CUC: Fill out this form.

WOMAN: I told you. They say it's bad for the lungs.

MAN: Bah.

WOMAN: So, I just quit.

MAN: You just quit?

WOMAN: I told you that.

ME: Here.

CUC: Now fill out this form.

ME: What is this for?

CUC: To close the account.

MAN: I smoke all the time. I feel fine.

WOMAN: What you gonna do when your lungs are damaged?

MAN: I'll get one of them artificial ones.

ME: I changed my mind. I don't have to close the account. I'll just withdraw all my money except for a dollar.

WOMAN: What you gonna do if your lungs so damaged you can't wait to get the artificial ones?

CUC: You told me you wanted to close this account. I already put it in the computer. Now you have to fill out this form or we'll have to reopen the account again.


MAN: Woman, don't you know? If your lungs are damaged like that, you go right to the head of the line.

WOMAN: You sure? I don't think I ever heard that.

ME: Here.

CUC: It won't let me take out the money. Helen!

MAN: I don't have no lung damage. I can run five miles any time.

WOMAN: Five miles!

MAN: And I don't smoke on weekends so my body heals itself from smoking.

HELEN: I'll have to override this. There.

CUC: It still won't let me take out the money. Helen!

WOMAN: They say it takes your body ten years to heal itself from smoking. You can't heal yourself over the weekend.

HELEN: There.

CUC: You got four cent? I need four cent.

ME: No. No change.

MAN: I've been smoking for over twenty years and never on the weekends. My body's been healing itself for more than twenty years already.

CUC: Helen! I need change.

HELEN: Here.

WOMAN: It don't work that way.

MAN: Five miles.

CUC: Sign this form.

ME: What is it?

CUC: It says you received the money.

ME: But I haven't.

WOMAN: I think I will try running.

MAN: It's too cold for running. You can't run in this weather.

CUC: It's right here.

ME: Can I have it?

CUC: Not until you sign the form.

ME: Shouldn't I have the money before I sign that I do?

CUC: That's not how we do it.

ME: Your policies are a little moribund, themselves.

WOMAN: Maybe when the weather breaks.

CUC: Helen!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?