My parents did not believe in doctors. The sooner you got over the idea that there would be medical attention, the better – unless, of course, you couldn’t stop the bleeding.
Then we’d see about going to a doctor.
They weren’t ogres, after all.
I’m not sure where they got this idea, that healthcare was optional, but it prevails in me, still. Do you think you can walk on it? Does the affected site appear to be gangrenous? Does it hurt when I do this? You can? It doesn’t? Are you sure?
What in the world are you complaining about, then? Get back to work!
I have a number of theories based on a number of their theories. Of course, that’s all part of the book. Having been sworn to secrecy (by myself) until the damn thing is published, what I can tell you is that you should never admit to having any sort of pain around my father.
He’s not a bad man.
He’s a funny man.
Or so he would have you believe.
“Your throat hurt? Come ‘ere, come ‘ere.”
For cryin’ out loud! Don’t go! He’s going to offer to stomp on your foot.
Why? Oh, you know – so that you’ll forget about the pain in your throat…
He wouldn’t really stomp on your foot – he’s not that kind of guy. But he is the kind of guy that will offer to do it, and sometimes that’s all it takes…
My mother had her own pet theories regarding how to cure illness, one of which centered around the belief that you are never too sick to get up and clean the house.
Bear in mind, of course, that I’m not talking genuine disease (although I do have distant, fevered and perhaps imaginary memories of vacuuming with the mumps). I’m talking about colds, headaches, stomach upset. These kinds of illnesses may keep you from going to school, but they will not dismiss you from helping out around the house, missy.
I mean, you weren’t just planning on laying there, getting better, were you? No, no, no. That’s not what we do! We’re working people, for cryin’ out loud! Get up! You can lay there when you’re dead. For now, we’re going to need some help drying these dishes.
Yes, yes. Don’t get me started on the need to “dry” dishes.
The lessons of our youth carry forward, of course; and while I’m not above calling in “sick” to work (purely for mental-health reasons, you understand),should I ever become truly, honestly sick, you will not find me doing nothing.
Now that I think of it, that’s probably a sickness in and of itself.
Wonder what Dad would say about that…
Being a Nighthawk
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