I took the day off yesterday to go to the doctor. I have a doctor about 5 minutes’ walk from where I live, and I’ve been visiting him when I have an ailment. He’s a pleasant enough character, though entirely without charisma. He’s tall and spindly and with a hawkish nose that puts one in mind of a minor Dickens character. I dare say he’s competent, but he’s also inclined to diffidence which – in my book – is not something you want in a doctor.
A doctor should possess authority, preferably of the type borne from experience and learning – they know what they’re doing and are not shy of making a call. This doctor is tentative, inclined to seek my feedback on his cautious diagnoses. I go to a doctor because they are an expert in a field that I’m not – I want them to give an opinion and propose a treatment. I may have the right to veto, but I don’t need a vote.
And so yesterday I visited my old doctor in Camberwell. Given that’s a 50-minute drive from where I live then it just about rules out half the day, and given half a day I may well as well take the full eight hours.
And so I rocked up to see my old doctor at 10 am yesterday.
It’s important you trust your doctor, and I trust her all the way. Experience has been that she is thorough and diligent and conscientious. She’ll follow up and has the confidence to either propose a treatment or refer me to a specialist. She’ll make an educated guess, but if she can’t be sure she’ll do what she can to either confirm or rebut it. On top of that, she’s very cute.
She’s got kids and was married, but no longer seemingly. From day one we had a good rapport and as time went on it became a mutual, though unspoken attraction. We’d digress into other conversations and laugh together. She’d gently compliment me on something or other, and I’d do the same to her. It was effortless, and at one time, it felt as if it might go beyond the surgery. Without saying anything directly, she’d made it clear her marriage was over. It was around grand final day, and we spoke about the big day and the associated celebrations. I remember she mentioned how she had to take the kids out for a kick but didn’t really know how to go about it. That was my cue to say something, but I didn’t yet feel it my place.
I hadn’t seen her for about 18 months before yesterday, maybe longer. We commented on that catching up. She’s still attractive, though her hair is now different, and the ring on her finger is gone.
She did her stuff professionally, sent me for some tests, and then I was on my way.
I wandered around Camberwell a little just for nostalgia’s sake, then hopped in the car again to head home. Driving across town was surprisingly enjoyable. It’s nice to be mobile again, nice to be doing familiar things and going familiar ways. When you’re without a car of your own, your personal geography alters. It’s limited to the basic radial pattern of the public transport network. Getting on the road literally jumps the tracks. You can go any way you want. You can act on a whim. Your view of the world is refreshed and enlivened.
Back home, I pottered around attending to domestic tasks and other things I had set myself to get done – primary among them was getting my MCC membership entirely renewed. That required getting the arrears paid. Luckily I got my compo payment yesterday morning and yesterday was the cut-off point for my membership. A day late and I lose it forever. Fortunately, I got in just under the wire, which means for the first time in about 5 years, I can walk into the MCG as a member. Might do it tomorrow. It’s another step closer towards normality.
Later I had a long overdue massage, then took Rigby for a check-up at the vet – he’s in excellent health.
It was a nice day. I felt free and very much myself.