Sometimes you read something you wrote four years ago and think, “I wrote that? And I published it?” Well, honey, (as they say here in the mid-South)—yes, yes I did. It was a rare experience of a doctor actually listening, not insulting me with surface-level admonitions, and speaking to me like a person. That it was a male doctor made it even more astounding–and that it was a gynecologist brought it practically into the realm of Ed Wood-style science fiction. I’ll share the beginning here, and you can click to read the rest, see the original art published with it, and hear me read it out loud. (My own voice saying those words on the internet? Um…yeah. I did that, too.)
So without more ado, here it is:
- He’s cute. Not “I’m thinking of sex now” cute, but “Oh, what a sweet guy” cute. He is short and a little wide, balding. He has light, dexterous hands. He wears blue scrubs and moves like a small fire engine. He addresses me as a person, listening in the way that makes any man more attractive to me, tilting his head a little, leaning in.
- He calls me “my dear” and always asks how I’m doing. Every time. So even if I’ve waited for forty-five minutes in the waiting room while small children wander drunkenly, putting their hands in the fountain with the sign that says, “Don’t touch” that they won’t be able to read for at least four years while the TV talks about nutrition and other boring commonsense health matters, I’m never irritated with him. And I know he’s running late because he was actually talking to the woman before me. I know this because sometimes I get moved to the intermediate waiting area, and I overhear parts of his attentive, respectful conversations with them.
- He talks to me during the entire appointment as if I’m not naked on a table with my feet in stirrups, as if he’s not looking at parts of me that only my husband looks at and even then, usually in the dark. He looks up from his work and meets my eyes. Once, when I had a yeast infection, he said, “It’s as angry as a swarm of bees down here,” and I couldn’t keep from laughing. I mean, face it: gynecological appointments are uncomfortable. We’re trained to be embarrassed about it all, about our bodies and their needs and their imperfections… READ THE REST OF THIS ESSAY BY CLICKING HERE.
p.s. Want more of Katie’s poems and essays, and even one very silly short story? Check out her links here.