She Hadn't Called Anyone
She put on her bikini and wrote out thank-yous at the pool. She
was whiter than a cream puff. She called her man at home.
She read magazines from the rack, looking for the skinny ones and
comparing herself. She'd been there ages already and the waiting room had gotten pretty empty. She thought about finding someone to ask, but didn't want to seem impatient. She read about a star who had
cottages. One guy got a nose job, and there was a page just for
bulges. "Some luck," she said. Finally the nurse called her, asking
how she was now. Her weight was low and so was her temperature and
pressure. She waited again, then read about an icon, a cheater. It was
all over the place in big print. The doctor came finally and said
hello in his straight concerned voice. Hi, she said. She asked him how his
day was. She smiled. His face was smooth, his eyes were small, his
lips were never angled.
They said for her to sit there and then they leaned her chair back.
She looked up again, remembering the painting on the ceiling. Square
and Van-Goghish, dark shades of green and black and purple. A bare
spindly tree and little white flowers, white birds, and she told the
doctor, "I really like your painting," and the doctor said a patient
made it for them, and she figured it was a patient who'd spent a lot
of time there. The doctor put her gloves on, got her goo and looked at
the screen. The two nurses looked like twins, speaking in like
volumes, wearing red scrubs. They leaned her back more and she was
glad not to see what they were up to.
She pressed her shoe to the pedal. It was a car much faster than
either of them. They drove like that, evaporating.
The patrons watched the Sabres, drinking coffee and wiping mouths with paper, saying things like shoot when the opponents got the puck in. One man clapped and said he was happy. The game wasn't airing on cable. A girl brushed the curls of her Barbie and her father kissed while the players skated on the TV. One scored and patrons jumped. The girl, she stayed there, posed. Holding Barbie's belly until everyone sat up again.
1996 © 2008