Love of home


 (Lovingly dedicated to my dog Hedge who loved cats as much as I do)

So the afternoon sun is just streaming through the window and hitting me right in the eye when I finally get up and move my seat.  The smell in the waiting room was nauseating to say the least.  People with congested lungs coughing stink mixing with an unidentifiable odor made it difficult to take a deep breath.   After tolerating all this for nearly forty-five minutes I was about to leave when the receptionist called my name…I was almost grateful even though she’d mangled the pronunciation.


I handed her my filled-out paperwork and she motioned with her well-manicured hand for me to walk through the swinging door into no-man’s land.  It was the door that everyone craned their necks to look through every time someone opened it, hoping for a clue as to what really went on behind it…morbidly curious to know what were they in for  in there.
It was nothing unfathomable as I noted after entering the hallway with many small rooms on either side.  Just a clinic….no mystery.  A young girl with a genuine smile wearing a red and white striped blouse under a white apron and white shoes that made absolutely no sound when she walked, directed me to one of the small rooms to yet again wait.  We communicated with head nods and grins only.  I thought it was a little strange.


She left me standing there with no order to disrobe or sit pending the doctor’s arrival..which was sure to be at least another forty-five minutes.  So, I made myself at home and sat on the examining bench and began to idly dump out the contents of my purse and pick out the crumpled, empty gum wrappers for the trash bin.  The usual I-have-no-idea-where-that-came-from lint spilled out as well making a mess on the clean strip of butcher paper.  Oh well. 


As luck would have it the doctor appeared nontraditionally early and the first thing he did was frown at the soiled bench….not a good start.  I quickly began to reload my purse and apologize at the same time hoping to distract his attention away from the flurry of lint and hair that I mindlessly brushed onto his pristine floor.  I could feel my face heat up with uncharacteristic embarrassment.   Fuck it.  He could afford a vacuum cleaner and someone to operate it for him.  I began to sweat.


After a five-minute exam, which didn’t require removal of any clothing, he concluded I had a “touch of the flu”.  Hmm, a touch eh?  I felt like shit…more like a punch in the gut than a touch.  But, I was in no mood to argue the fact so I pretended to be pleased with his diagnosis and commented on having only been “touched” and was “grateful since the waiting room was so full of people who were actually sick!”   He grunted at my sarcasm and scribbled some Greek words on a few pages of his little pad, left them on the bench for me to pick up instead of handing them to me and then abruptly left the room.  “Grumpy old fucker”, I thought to myself as I made my way down the hallway back to the receptionist’s desk.  It took her exactly four minutes to finally stop typing and answering the phone to turn around and acknowledge me.  Evidently clearing one’s throat loudly was a costly act because the more I did it the slower she seemed to move.  Without a glance up to see the face of whom she was robbing she set the price at “$85.  Cash or credit card?”.  The phone rang…good thing too because had she heard what I mumbled about her and the bill she probably would have had a shit fit right then and there in front of all those sickos still camping out in the smelly waiting room.    I knew it was pointless to protest so I counted out exactly eighty-four dollars from my wallet, forty pennies, six nickels and a quarter for a grand total of $85.   She took two more calls for appointments that she seemed to begrudgingly to fill and then called a new victim to enter through the swing door.




I headed straight for the pharmacy located conveniently around the corner to fill the prescriptions so benevolently given by the doctor. But, as I thumbed through them on my way up to the door I noticed that one was for cough syrup for the cough I didn’t have and one was for a type of anti-biotics, which I already had at home and one was for friggin’ Tylenol. 


I skipped the pharmacy and went home to my nice warm bed, my cat Mimi and a pot of tea and lemon. 


I recorded the miserable events of the day in my journal from the comfort of my comforter and treated the cat to a can of tuna for dinner.  I decided to have a bowl of meso soup with over-cooked rice noodles and medicate myself with a nice hot tottie….went over like a led balloon as far as my stomach was concerned but it did knock me completely out until 9 o’clock the next morning. 




I sat up pretty groggy thinking I was late for work…but, graciously the Universe had planned that today would be Saturday.  My aches and fever were gone and I felt brand new after a light breakfast of toast and tea. 


But, there laid Mimi flapping her tail like she always did just before she hurled up something horrible.  I placed my face down next to hers to inquire of her if she felt sick.  She answered with an indignant “meow” and nipped at my hand as I stroked her fur. I supposed that to her I was no different than the imposing doctor I had relinquished my entertainment budget for the month to the day before.


It seemed as though I had cured myself but transferred my illness to my cat.


Spent the day spoon-feeding Mimi her favorite vanilla soymilk and sushi wrapped in seaweed.  She remained there on my pillow lapping up the attention she’d earned by making me feel guilty for getting her sick…I’m sure that’s how she saw it.


By that evening she was fit to fiddle with the best of them and smiled her kitty-smile at me, which was an expression of her gratitude for having carryied her through her dark hour.  “What goes around comes around.”, I told her.


As it turned neither Mimi nor I needed anything beyond each other and home sweet home…which is by far always the best medicine in the world.







The End


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