Tuesday, November 28, 2006
The podiatrist shares his office space with a dentist. From the exam room she hears the far-off drill: Hoof and Mouth Disease. At first the thought sickens her. Then she wonders if she ought to try this dentist. Meanwhile, at least her feet are almost normal. Compared to what they see here.
A woman emerges from the podiatrist's office, leaves her pocketbook on her walker with her aide, goes to the bathroom. Only she had an "accident," wetting the receipt the receptionist gave her (I assume with water). She blames it on the aide, who told her just to put it in her pocket. The receptionist says it'll dry. The aide stops her from putting it, wet, in her pocket. Now she tries to negotiate the two steps down to the door, the aide standing by, shaking her head, helping only when scowled at. Cold, the woman makes her way back in, blocking the doorway while the aide gets a cab. I write, I look up, I look down again. This could be my father. Yes, I would let this happen to my father. I look away. I write. I feel helpless. 783 Days, 11 Hours, 16 Minutes, 39 Seconds. The time passes.
Another day, another class, another doctor. She writes this to pass the minutes in between. Four years ago, when she started this class, people might write the same story several times, but at least they could fill half a page with writing. Now she's lucky if they write three sentences. And many can't write by themselves, she or an aide have to draw the stories out of them. Twenty people here some Tuesday mornings. Another alarm clock going off, another doctor. This fills the space in between.