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doctor’s visit

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2011 at 2:35 pm

The doctor’s mobile is on the doctor’s table. When its light fades, when it powers down, the doctor reaches for it, presses a button and lets out her breath when the screen lights up again.

‘I’m sorry to be so distracted,’ she said. ‘But The Poet’s in town again.’

Adele thinks, but does not have the courage to say, ‘Is that supposed to be refreshing honesty?’

‘He gets lost,’ the doctor said. ‘He gets lost and then he rings.’ She looked at the phone again. ‘I have to answer him. If I don’t answer straight away he does drastic things. You’d be surprised how quickly he moves.’ She looked at Adele and smiled. ‘For a poet.’

They had covered the basics. In between one faded screen and the next, Adele had got most of it out and the doctor seemed to have taken it in nodding where you’d expect her to nod and asking the questions you’d think she should ask. Age. Weight. Occupation. Any previous pregnancies.

‘I know it’s an unconventional approach.’ Adele apologised for herself although it was not something she had intended to do. She had practiced defensive and matter-of-fact, expecting to need them at some time, but not apologetic. ‘It’s not how I saw things happening. It’s not what I would have planned.’

The screen had faded again, but the doctor did not light it.

‘Unconventional?’ The doctor left a silence, but Adele did not think it was one she should fill. ‘Uncommon perhaps, but it’s hard to be unconventional. Harder than ever before.’

The doctor tapped her fingers one by one on the table, her fingernails leaving a rhythm behind. ‘Tests,’ she said. ‘We’ll get some tests. Ultrasound and blood work and then we’ll think about referrals.’

The phone started to vibrate, the doctor grabbed it. ‘It’s not him,’ she said. She pressed a button, the phone stopped its humming vibrations. ‘I won’t be so distracted next time you come,’ the doctor said. ‘The Poet is leaving tomorrow.’

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