Originally Published in Empirical magazine in May 2012
I used to think that I was a right brain person.
Now my doctor tells me that I’m a wrong brain person.
The X-rays and the CAT scans clearly show it. His lab coat
has yet to come back from the bleachers – “You don’t mind,
do you?” he asks me. “You don’t worry that
the kimono makes me seem unprofessional?” No.
What makes him seem unprofessional is
the candy jars of red, blue and green pills he keeps
within easy reach—not that I’m complaining, not that these
little mental jujubes can’t be credited with helping me
endure more department meetings, kids’ birthday parties,
and church services than you can shake a stethoscope
at. Two weeks in Barbados, he says,
is much more effective than any treatment he could
prescribe. He introduces me to his wife—
something he has done before, though last time
it was a different woman, and I kind of liked her better—
gives me the firm “let’s play golf or do lunch” eye
contact and handshake they teach you in the first week
of medical school, and then his face
turns serious and he says, “By the way,
I just don’t like the look of that last set of MRIs.
Not at all. But we’ll talk about that later.
And hey, why do they call it masking tape,
anyway? It doesn’t mask anything I
can think of.” And then, like a pinch of salt,
he is gone.
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