Dogs 2010

WHEN THE PATIENT IS READY
(10/13/10)


I was parked
in front
of the medical
building
doing some
deep breathing
to moderate
my blood pressure
before the
appointment

I had
scheduled
this time
two weeks prior
in order to satisfy
my wife's request
~demand
that her old
husband
get a checkup

she is hoping
that the doctor
will want
to cram
a 40 foot tube
up my ass

I guess
that's love

I see many
men in hardhats
apparently involved
in some renovations
to the entrance
of the building

I get out
of the car
and follow
the crudely chalked
arrowed path
to the alternate
entry

inside
was not
a pretty
sight

exposed
wood frame
ductwork
wiring
etc
with plastic
covering the floors
and curtaining
the doorways

sloppily taped
copy paper
signs
directed me
first
to the elevators
then
informed me
that only two
of the six floors
were open

neither
were the level
with my doctor's
office

great

I got
in the car
and went up
anyway

the fourth floor
was some sort
of women's
and children's
clinic

the fifth
a substance abuse
treatment
and counseling center

never involved
in the one
and ten years past
the other
I wandered
to the stairwell
then climbed
to the sixth
floor
in search
of the doc

this level
was even more
devoid of niceties
than the temporary
entrance

stripped
to bare cement beams
no tile or carpet
underfoot
the only lighting
coming
from outside

no workers

no one
but me

getting my
bearings
referencing
the south
and west walls
I walked
to where I remembered
the receptionist's
window to be

I stood
looking across
a hundred feet
or so
of empty space
to the east
outer wall

I checked
my phone

9:30 am

right
on time

I then
had a Jacob's
Ladder moment
of realization

I felt
as if
I were standing
inside
of myself

semidarkness

entrails
stripped

sun shining
in
through the windows
of my soul

the structure
was in need
of some refurbishment
but basically sound
from the foundation

all anxiety
aggravation
and distress
left me
and I felt
a calm
"I belong here"
sensation
warming
my body

feeling
that my task
was finished
I took the stairs
back down
finding workers
mainly concentrated
in the first
three floors

they nodded
and smiled
as I passed

I realized
that I was
smiling
as well

I had
no fears
for my
health

I had
no fears
for anything
or anyone

across town
back
at my desk
I called
the doctor's office
got their new address
and rescheduled
my appointment

I would not
be able
to convincingly explain
my revelation
to my wife

I knew
that it
did
not
matter

but
the cold
metal snake
would have to wait
a bit longer
to claim
another
victim