Medical School

The soft rock playing in the waiting room reminds me of anticipating dinner in my parents’ living room as a child.

This is my first visit to the doctor’s since becoming a real, honest-to-goodness adult. I even had to find my own licensed practitioner.

To do this, you have to have an in.

Getting a doctor is like trying to get made in the mafia, you need to be recommended for everything. Just having a third breast or a volcano erupting from your esophagus is not enough.

Lucky for me, Marla has been a practising adult for some time now. She has travel insurance, health insurance and a doctor. On her recommendation I get to see her family physician.

I told her I was having chest pains. I have other reasons for being here.

The atmosphere in this place does not inspire beliefs that you are going to leave feeling any better than when you arrived.

There is an older gentleman across from me whose face has less colour than a lemon/lime soda. His mouth seems unable to close and reveals a tongue like a chalkboard eraser. I must remember to Google ‘chalkboard tongue’ when I get home, see if it is contagious.

The receptionist doesn’t stop answering the phone, filling up months of appointments. This industry is booming!

I second guess my education. I really should have gone with secretary school.

The lady closest to me is about to fall on the other side of middle age. Her makeup leads me to believe she got up in the middle of the night to start working on that canvas. Her skirt is showing me a little too much skin. I wonder if she wants to fuck the doctor.

A Whitney Houston song plays on the radio, she starts mouthing the words. She definitely wants to fuck the doctor.

Beside Lemon/Lime is a woman with a child in her lap. She doesn’t look like she has had a wink of sleep this past year. The bags under her eyes could carry bowling balls.

I was here before everybody else in the waiting room. I could be next.

Fuck.

I can’t swallow. My heart is pounding. Every piece of clothing feels too tight. Lemon/Lime and Bag Lady just keep sitting there cool as ice.

How is everybody in here so calm?!

The clown-faced lady gets called. She looks like Chad the quarterback just asked her for first dance at the prom.

I have not been in a medical facility in a long time but I know how life works. I was here first motherfucker and there is no way I am going to continue sitting here having a panic attack.

I bound up to cut off the clown before she can get to the hallway. We arrive at the doorway at the same time. The doctor and the clown stare at me with question. I look at them and feel like I am the bad kid in a demented Stephen King story. Life doesn’t work the way I think it should.

Doc is probably a date rapist. Better go suck his dick, clown.

I grab a style magazine and go back to my seat. I feel everyone’s urine filled eyeballs on me. Sitting here inside these sanitized white walls I feel like I am a red wine stain on a dress shirt.

The cover of the magazine indicates there will be good looking women inside. I read an article from three years ago about the benefits of a good fitting bra. My dick perks up. Maybe I will bring a surprise boner to the doctor.

He finally walks down the hallway. The man is full of swagger. His coat sways with each perfectly placed stride. He is a white-caped superhero coming to take one of the inferiors away. My penis deflates.

Doc stops in the hallway, looks down at his clipboard over his glasses sitting on the end of his nose. Cocky prick.

“Harvey.”

“Yup.”

I get up and rub my sweaty palms on my jeans. Why does this feel like a first date?

I follow the doctor to one of the cells.

“Have a seat, I will be back in a minute.”

“Yup.”

I guess he has to go back to fucking the clown.

I need to figure out a manly way to sit before he returns.

I believe I have nailed it. My right foot on my left knee with a casual lean back. My left hand slightly grasps my right foot and I put my right index finger over my top lip while the rest of my hand covers my mouth, very contemplative.

The doctor comes back into the room and sits down across from me at his desk. He opens a file.

“So you live with Marla?”

“Yup.”

“How is she?”

“Good.”

“You haven’t seen a doctor in a long time.”

“Nope.”

“What is the problem today Harvey?”

Here it goes.

“Why won’t you give Marla a recommendation to a female gynecologist?” I yelp like a pubescent kid.

The doctor pushes himself back in his chair, stands up and closes the door to our cell.  If I were my cat I would look evil and spontaneous, my hair would be standing up straight, ready for battle.

MY HAIR DOES SHIT!

The doctor sits back down and stares at me over his glasses. Should I repeat my question? Should I rephrase it? Ask him why he is so possessive over my girlfriend’s snatch?

Silence.

He takes off his glasses and sets them on the desk between us. His eyeballs recede into his head like black holes. He resembles the Godfather. I am going to get whacked over a fucking pap smear.

“I do all gynecological work on site, there is no need for a recommendation Harvey.”

This guy is a vagina hoarder. Quarterback Chad, king of the fucking school!

I have to say something. Do I talk louder or quieter since he closed the door?

“I don’t think she is comfortable with a man examining her down there,” I say in a hushed tone.

The doctor puts his glasses back on, stands up and opens the door. The son of a bitch is letting me know the conversation is over.

“Is there anything else Harvey?” the doctor asks standing at the door while pointing me in the exit direction.

I always figured if I was going to get into a fight over Marla, it would be with someone fucking her. My tail is arched and bristled, but also like an angry cat, I struggle with the english language. God damn my education!

With nothing to say I put my tail between my legs and start to leave. My maturity never ceasing to sink in adult situations, I bump Chad with my shoulder on the way out.

Dumbstruck I walk through the waiting room and lock eyes with Lemon/Lime. ‘Everything I Do, I Do It For You’ by a young Bryan Adams plays on the radio. Today I was supposed to be Bryan Adams–doing it all for her. Instead, I feel like a guy who looks like a can of citrus soda.

This shit will not stand!

I turn back and catch the Godfather’s eye. I know there is vulnerability there, every Don has his day. This guy doesn’t even have a nurse to call in his patients. I know what I have to do.

At home in front of my computer, the Google logo stares back at me.

Fucking doctor Chad thinks he is better than me?!

Time to get a new education, I type How to do a pap smear at home and press enter. Marla is going to be so proud.

Do thrift shops have lab coats? I think I want a black one.

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About Brett Butler

if my dick were a gun is a collection of short stories by Brett Butler. He is also an award-winning filmmaker/screenwriter and co-creator of the Toronto based entertainment production company SubProd. View all posts by Brett Butler

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