I’ve done it several times; and each time, I suspect that I get a little better at it.
But this time, I’m going to be really good at it.
Once again, I have quit smoking.
“We won’t give you this medication unless you stop smoking,” the doctor says.
“Do I need it?”
The doctor pauses, taps her pen against her front teeth. “Hmm,” she muses. “Do you need this medication… You come in with various complaints, I offer you what I believe to be the best first-line options, and you want to know if you need it.” She cocks her head at me. “I dunno. You tell me.”
Rats. I hate when they get all smart on you.
“But can I smoke when I’m drunk?”
Her head remains cocked to one side, but her eyes narrow.
“What about if I feel bored? Stressed out? Hungry? Unfulfilled as a human being?”
“Read a book, do some sit-ups, drink a large glass of water, consider your non-human options.”
We smile at each other. “Funny, aren’t you?” I say.
“Yes,” she says. She leans forward, places her white-coated elbows on her knees, looks me square in the face. “Let me ask you a couple questions.”
I cock my head at her.
“You use your mind much?”
“I’ve been known to ponder on occasion.”
“Like to communicate? Talk? Write?”
I reach for my purse. “You mean I haven’t given you my blog’s business card yet?”
She waves me off. “Do you think you’re attractive?”
I smile. “I think I’ve peaked,” I say, “but I’m not bad looking.”
“How do you feel about partial paralysis?”
“How would you feel about drops to keep your unblinking eye moist? Having to use your good hand to ensure that one side of your mouth is closed when you’re chewing?”
Dagnabit. Doctors and their brains. I briefly consider getting a dumber doctor and then shake her proffered hand.
It’s a deal. I promise to try not to have a prescription-aided stroke.
So that’s it. I quit. It’s been 10 days. I won’t bring it up again until I run out of post ideas and/or I think some sort of treat is due me (outside of saving money or not coughing or not stinking up the porch or clearing the avoidable paths to strokedom...)
I just felt you should know.
You know. In case you wanted to bake me a cake.
12 hours ago