Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Would You Just... Give the Doc a Break?

Home from a quiet shift with Zoe, Joey, and Stevie in drinking, Jiggs and Charlie M. and Phace about, Phace drawing her intricate sloping line art, Charlie arguing whether Monsoon tap pink or red, everyone slouching around, working, boozing, killing time until the great happenings happen -- what we all waiting for, what we think gonna come? It's here, isn't nothing more. Can this be all. Can it?

Walk home from bus under looming darkness of sky, roaring neon wail of music down headphones, step-stepping in time, trying to be ever-present. I am here walking this road, the streetlights peering down so mournful, the crunch of foot, grass bristling, thoughts jumbling, yip-fox skittles by towards nocturnal adventures unknown, head up briefly in driveway, looks to me, yippers off. The world is empty. Colours are pressed flat in the night. I am here.

Doctor's appointment earlier, first thing in morning. Three-month antidepressant review, sat on plastic school chair beside big medical desk and rumpled grey doctor in open shirt and nothing-colour slacks harrooms and looks down glasses at his monitor rather than at me, asks dumb questions, getting dates wrong, mixing details up, trying to build picture of me from the screen -- Just talk to me, I think, I can tell you -- but when he does I wringle my hands, cough, get confused. Begin to launch into big analogy of how I see the depression, where my story has gone, why meds are working for me now, but I see it doesn't matter, that this doc has 30, 40 patients to help, he has 10 minutes, now six, to decoct from my story only the essence that is salient to him, whether to continue my meds or bring me off -- and hes trying, not super hard, and his bedside manner like all the male GPs I know is poor, but to him I am one of so many, a ghost-face among faces, clawing at him to be healed, to be helped, to maybe most of all be understood, to be treated as special and important in a world in which to him I so obviously am not -- I see this and how caught up we all are in our own little lives, and so I smile and answer his questions the way I should and I come out with what I already knew I wanted, meds for another year at least, and put on my music and tramp away up the hill and try not to picture that procession of patients behind me, each convinced of his or her central importance, each as meaningless as the next.

But then what is meaning, when you get right down to it? Maybe this just means this. Maybe it's all we get. I spose I can be OK with that.

Late now and lids drooping. Only sound clacking of keys, whirr of laptop fan. I've got a day off tomorrow. I''ll see you then. x


  1. Rob, this is you at you writing, thinking feeling best.
    I love it.

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