The little room was as cold as a witch’s you-know-what in spite of the intense glare from the bright spotlight shining down on me while I lay stretched out on the large chair now completely reclined to become an operating table in the dermatologist’s office Thursday.
I felt like I was a member of the happy family that was visible in the 46 photos hanging neatly on the three walls that surrounded me because I had plenty of time to study them while I was waiting for Dr. Anon. The wall behind me was a small row of cabinets with a sink, disposable gloves container, assorted medical instruments and supplies; but I had been lying in the recliner long enough to study the family images in some detail.
Dr. Anon was in a few of the pictures with his wife and four children who looked just like a combination of their parents. I recognized some of the places where the photos were taken, but the ones of the family on camels threw me off a little. Frankly, the idea that the good doctor was a camel rider made me a little anxious for some reason. Why shouldn’t doctors ride camels, my sensible self said as my irrational self felt an overwhelming desire to jump up and run out of the room.
I was waiting for the results of my basal cell skin cancer surgery from two hours earlier. If all went well, I should be up and out of the doctor’s office by the time I could say Marcus Welby. As my mind wandered, I thought about Marcus Welby M.D. and the actor Robert Young who starred in the TV show which led me to a memory of Loretta Young as she opened the door swirling her skirts to begin The Loretta Young Show on Sunday nights which took me down the road to her affair with Clark Gable. I was almost out of mental ramblings when the door to my little room opened and Dr. Anon walked in followed by his assistant Shirley.
The smiling man riding the camel in the photo had been replaced by a much more serious fellow and an even more solemn assistant.
“This is trouble,” said Dr. Anon with a slight frown. The nurse nodded and began assembling the surgical instruments again.
I had two fleeting thoughts: One was the mental image of the woman at the Verizon Center who was the subject of my post several weeks ago (July 19th.) – the woman whose first comment when she looked at the cell phone I had brought in with problems to be fixed was, Oh my God. She had continued to repeat OMG off and on for the hour she pretended to work on my phone. Many of my photos I lost that day are still lost. OMG.
The second thought that flew across my brain was the TV commercial with the dentist who told the patient (lying in a similar recliner to the one I was on) with his mouth locked in an open position that he had one of the worst cavities he had ever seen and then the dental assistant says, It’s bad. Lunch? and they walk away because their jobs were to diagnose problems – not to fix them.
To his credit Dr. Anon didn’t run away but went back to work on my skin cancer issue with a vengeance. After the second round of numbing and snipping, I was released to a smaller waiting room where Pretty and I sat for another hour with two very tall men who at one point switched the communal TV from the weather channel to Fox News. Ding. Ding. Ding. Not so fast, my friend. I politely picked up the remote and found CNN without any difficulty. No one said a word. Time marched on.
Much to our surprise, Dr. Anon himself strolled into the small waiting area/ break room to apparently have lunch since it was by now after 1 o’clock. Once again the cheerful man in the family photos, he drank his lunch from a beer mug which contained a brown liquid reminiscent of beer but of course mustn’t have been since his work day wasn’t over.
The tall man whose ear was in the same unfinished state as my nose suggested to Dr. Anon we might need a drink more than he did. Following some good-spirited joking around discussing everyone’s favorite bourbon, Dr. Anon went back to his office, produced an open bottle of Jacob’s Creek bourbon and offered the two men, Pretty and me a drink. The two men and I accepted with enthusiasm. Pretty declined.
Dr. Anon went back to work while my two new friends and I chatted in the waiting room – setting any political differences aside as we shared our healthy shots of bourbon in an attempt to keep our spirits as high as our pain levels. I hated it for all those pioneers who had had to rely on bourbon instead of Novocaine for pain relief. Novocaine wins…no contest.
Finally, six hours and 22 stitches later, Pretty and I left the doctor’s office with two prescriptions and less money than we’d had when we arrived. The two tall men were nowhere to be seen, but the waiting room was full.
Pretty drove me home where I immediately took to my bed with the vapors and dreamed about a doctor who said Oh my God when he saw me reclined on an operating table and a woman at a cell phone store who kept saying This is Trouble over and over again as she banged my phone on her counter.
More meds, please.