Best Medicine (From “Dating Myself”)

Dr. Dana Evans was finishing her clinical appointments when the receptionist called saying a patient had come in with an urgent matter.  It was Steve Wright.  He was the patient of a white male colleague of hers and demanded to see that doctor only.  He was told Dr. Evans was the only doctor on duty unless he wanted to wait until Monday.  He had reluctantly agreed to Dana’s dismay.  

“Okay . . . send him in” she said calmly with a sigh.  

Steve was a slightly burly man, in his 50s with a buzz cut and clean shave.  Yet, he wore a polo and khakis.  But now he was in a backless gown with his fat ass hanging out.  He seemed disgruntled already and was uneasy.  

“What brings you to the infectious organism clinic today, Mr. Wright?”  

“Don’t you know? Aren’t you a doctor?” He questioned

“Yes, Mr Wright. I am actually in the top 5 doctors in my field of study, but I still need to know what brings you in here today.”  (I don’t read minds -she thought).

“I think I have an STD  . . .in my balls.”

It took all of Dana’s strength not to burst out laughing at the way Steve stated this.  Dana had empathy for good people in similar situations and was very professional, but Steve was a problem patient.  He always talked down to women, especially black women like herself, and doubted their competency.  She kept it to herself, but she did not care for Steve.  Even his own doctor wasn’t a fan.  But the CEO was a “family friend” and they could not refuse his care.  

“Did you have an exposure or encounter recently?” Dana continued.

“Yeah . . Look, I’ll just say she was a dirty whore”

“I don’t need to know that” Dana cut him off.

“All I know is my balls are enlarged and on fire. I’m not waiting 6 hours for the emergency room”

“Let’s take a look” she said as she slapped her gloves on (a little to annoy Steve)

“Scoot Forward and put your legs in the stirrups . . . .Lift your penis” (this wasn’t heavy lifting).

“Please cough”

“Hmm . . .” Dana let out a sound upon her examination of Steve’s testes

“What?” He asked nervously.

There was a small discreet puncture mark in the scrotum.  It looked like after someone gives a shot or draws blood.

“How long ago was this encounter?”

“I think about a week”

“Come back in 6 weeks.  It’s too early for me to test anything.  I’ll write a prescription for anti-itch cream.”  She didn’t mention the puncture.

________________________________

Dana had a suspicion.  She waited until Steve had collected his things, and grumbled out of the office to make a followup appointment.  She waited until he left the building.  As soon as she had a break, she walked briskly to her office, closed the door.  She called her college friend Deirdre (or Dee).  

“Hey Dee. I hate to call with a nerd question, but you know me.” She attempted to joke

“Oh, no problem Dana.  I would like to actually sit down and get a drink together sometime or even coffee if I’m up earlier. But go ahead  . . . geek out.”

Dana’s tone became serious and quiet after a pause “Are you still involved with the Mandolin Parasite research?”

Dating Myself

Dating Myself . . .A later chapter

Laura was putting the last pieces in place when she got a text.  It was Mistress Dee (or just Dee to Laura).  

I’m downstairs

Laura wasn’t sure if her creation was ready to be seen, but she trusted  Dee’s opinion and knew that she wasn’t the judgmental type.  Dee had seen stranger strangers before in her line of work.  

Dee was tall with curvy, yet hard features, black curly hair which she often wore in a Swedish Heidi braid style, and wore all black.  She dressed to intimidate and was paid well for it.  It made her feel powerful and allowed her to feel some control in the chaotic world.  She grew up as a tomboy and liked feeling feminine and strong.  

She came to check up on Laura.  She hadn’t seen her in days and knew Laura had a tendency to get upset and isolate for days on end obsessing over something.  She worried about her like a sister.  As someone who was also ostracized in childhood, she could relate. 

Laura buzzed Dee in and paced the room.  

She’s been loyal as a friend since college. She wouldn’t think I’m crazy.  She already knows I’m a little crazy.  Ha!!  Laura became giddy like a mad scientist. 

She unlocked the door just as Dee turned the handle.  Dee’s eyes were wide.  

“You alright?”  

“Yeah, just working. You?”

“It’s been a busy day . . Can I ask what you’re working on?”

“Yes.”

“And?” Dee nudged

“Oh, yeah, you want to see it?” Laura almost stated bluntly.

Dee was confused, but her curiosity was peaked with a hint of relief.

Laura walked briskly into the kitchen.  Dee removed her long clunky boots at the door and left them on the doormat that said “Home is Where the Hermit is”.   Custom made cuteness, Dee thought.

“I think I’ve made hope,” Laura stated almost surprised at herself. “I call him Harold . . . Harry for short.”  Dee could only think for a second that Harry sounds a lot like Henry, when her thought was interrupted  by Laura pulling a bedsheet off an object like she was Penn or Teller  revealing how stupid anti-vaxxers are.  

Dee stepped back in shock. “Who?. . .” she started.  Laura- “He’s my invention”

“I’ve finally built what I wanted.  No one understands me, right?”

“I understand you . . .At least I try”

“I mean romantically . .as in a partner.  So many women have to weed out the misogynists, the sociopaths, the sloths, the guys with ridiculous standards, the unintelligent . . often these guys are the same person.    But now . . .I have Harry.”  

“Hi Dee, I am Harold . . .but Laura can call me Harry.”

Dee Laughed.

“What? . . I like being special” Laura smirked.

“He sounds exactly like that ASMR that Robert does.”  

“Well, he did help me and lent his voice for it”

“Laura,”Dee said, grinning.  “You should have called him Rob, as in Robot.”

“Hardy Har Har.  I did program him to say some of the same things in that ASMR video.  It was too good not to.  He is intelligent, can match emotion (even with me), is funny, appreciates my dark humor, has a man giggle, is VERY imaginative, and quite attractive, if you don’t mind me saying so.”  

“You are an artist.”

“Yes. I had some help with the molding.” Laura stated.  “Ooh, also he makes espresso.”

“You mean from the machine?”

“ No, I mean he has a built in espresso maker.   . . perfect for traveling together.” Laura seemed most proud of this for some reason.

Dee closely examined Harry for a while in silence.  “Why’d you think of this?”

“Well, you know I got tired of people thinking I was robotic and them not being able to figure me out?   . . . I decided maybe a robot could.”

Break

You accuse me of being an iceberg.

An emotional iceberg.

Ha! If I’m an iceberg,

I am fresh and independent

Broken away from the stagnant ice.

You have pushed me away from the

ancient glacier that cannot be sustained.

I choose to float on the sea.

Stop sending ships after me.

Stop being surprised that there is

More beneath the surface

That you never saw.

Only the explorers capable of reaching

greater depths

have seen these parts

of me.

But you . . .

You accuse me of being an iceberg

I touch everything that comes

too close.

I tear into the depth of everything

in my path.

Only the well built will survive

my inquiry.

You are a puddle.

I only touch you when I can’t avoid you.

and I avoid you at a distance.

You show all of yourself right away.

I see your entirety instantly.

You can only reflect the surface

of other things,

even when they pass through

you.

But I can see through you.

You

have never seen

me.

Easter

"Rockin' Robin"
We teased her like
Only sisters do . . .
To that of a popular song.
We placed a coin in the jukebox
and giggled over
our greasy diner eggs
-Robin's eggs
Lower middle class
Treats and memories
This was our identity.

Irene
The name printed bluntly
Like a mugshot sign
on a black and white photo.
A Mona Lisa woman
In traditional Native American dress
With a Penobscot feather
Sitting for a Maine portrait
-ungentrified, unaffected

I stare at the photo of a photo.
My father's family tracing
The tortuous paths of the past
To reveal our ancesters
Slept with anyone who asked.
We weren't the "stick to your own kind" type;
Only wild and windy
With our wiles.

The woman in the photo . . .
A time traveled reflection
Of my sister - "Rockin' Robin"
The robin in the grass come springtime.
My sister who lost her teeth, her ambitions,
-her identity
Her Mona Lisa smirk
Hiding something,
As if asking
Who am I?
Where do I belong?
Biding time until
The egg hatches.
And we all know
Who comes first.