Yesterday this vet got another fabulous series of medical services from the VA: Bay Pines FL. The surgeon removed a basel cell re-growing on my ear: after the audio walk-in-clinic had fixed my hearing aids, the aids that same clinic had given me in the first place. A few weeks ago the dermatologist had burned off (that is to say deep-frozen) a bunch of other facial cancers, yesterday the surgeon burned more. Man, did he burn me: liquid nitrogen, 200 degrees below zero!
And speaking of zero: zero co-pay for all this. I’m broke because of the government, but now the government treats me for nothing, transports me to and from the hopsital for nothing. (For nothing? I mean: all at your expense!) (And mine: they took all I had, and stunted anything that remained.)
Never mind that, I want to tell about yesterday’s fun flirtations.
The surgeon’s assistant I’ll call Tease: not that she was teasing me, I was teasing her. And the other assistant, the surgery’s gofer I never got a good look at (despite the importance of her part in this). I’ll call her “Tilly”: don’t know her real name, Tilly will do in the meantime.
Tease sat me down and asked me questions, informed me of this and that. She was being light about it, I was improvising off her lightness. The doctor (and Tilly) were getting a kick out of us, made comments from their floating peanut gallery.
Tease said I’d have to sign some consent form: What consent? I said: I’m asking for this procedure.
Tease said, You understand you’re going to be cut, where there’s a cut there will be a scar.
“But what about my Hollywood career?” I blustered.
Please picture: I’m seventy-four: gray gray, broke, half in the grave.
I add, “Do you think he can make the scar look like I’ve been in a duel?” That too went over big.
I was tapping the back of Tease’s hand with my fingertips: flirting. I was having a grand time, she was enjoying it too. As I say even the surgeon chimed in, that I was “a good guy,” and so forth.
When it was all over Tease cleaned up the blood, got me sitting back up, warned me I might be a bit wobbly (wishy-wobbly is what I was), and last said, “Do you have any other questions?”
“Yes: are you coming home with me?”
Suddenly the gofer jumped into the mix, making a very tight triangle. “She’s not available,” she informed me,
“But I am!”
A third comedian heard from!
There I was, doing what I’m good at, what I’ve been good at all my life, attracting females, what I’m still good at, go figure, but this girl, I don’t know, thirty-five? forty? so astonished me, so delighted me, I still didn’t get a good look at her. But I’m fairly sure she understood that she was included in my goodbye to everyone.
So my beloved Jan phoned last night, from Nova Scotia, about something else, she hadn’t known I had the operation yesterday. She knows my flirtations better than anybody. I told her the story, and got to hear her laugh and laugh.
PS Pretty funny, me, pk, praising a federal bureaucracy: me, the deschooler, the DeGater, the disciple of Ivan Illich, my nominee for the premier among all disciples of Christ: first to offer an internet, enemy of federalism: veteran, yes, I was drafted: a pacifist! (The kleptocracy doesn’t care about any of that, any more than they cared that I could read as well as the teacher when they first put me under the boot of a grade school reading teacher: the state is so stupid it would give itself a gold star for teaching nature to St. Francis! after kidnapping him, putting him in school! The state would put the resurrected Jesus in Sunday School, the school taught by Mrs. Stalin and Miss Nixon.) Never mind. I’m an avowed enemy of the state, the state has sabotaged me since grade school (after putting me there in the first place), made sure the adult enemy of the state, offerer of alternatives to the state, was never able to make a living, buried me alive under the heels of morons: in school, in the army, at the library … But: I’m old, going blind, deaf, getting slow and stupid, had cancers all over my face, and the VA’s Bay Pines has at long last been taking pretty good care of me! (Like the kids in Forbidden Games: first they bury the dog because it’s dead, then they kill the other animals so they can bury them.)
2012 10 03 Sequel
That was in the dermatology department, today I had an appointment in the eye clinic. I catch the bus at 5:45, we arrive in Bay Pines a few minutes after 8:30, I carry a coffee to the appointed place, get called within minutes, the new doctor seems to be in command of my file, seamless shuffle of experts, and I’m done, ready to go back to the bus, read, sleep, do puzzles till the last vet fills the last slot in the bus back up so we call all go home. Under the best of circumstances it’s a long day: ten hours plus.
But I have a plan, a little itch: I want to go flirt with Tilly & Tease! Seriously, I at least wanted to at least let the second girl know that I was taking a step out of my way to notice her. Besides: I’d never yet visited the Bay Pines Food Court, and I understood it was in the same building as dermatology: time for me to investigate. So I went t dermatology, presented myself at the appointment window. handed the receptionist my VA ID, told her that I had no medical business there, but could she help me anyway: Last week I had a procedure here, the Indian doctor, Dr. Cuddapah: I had flirted pleasantly with his assistant, and also with another woman: I was there to see if she could please help me convey my love to those two women.
Well, I recognize Tease working with another woman in the back of the cubby hole. I see that she’s noticing my goings on out of the corner of her eye, I’m pretty sure it’s her. She’s looking uncertain, except on one point: she knows increasingly by the second that I’m talking about her. She comes to the window, Do I have an appointment?
Clearly she hasn’t heard the bulk of what I’ve said. I start to try to clarify to her. The receptionist stutters and starts to try to clarify to her.
But Tease, who real name I now learn is Michelle, is jacking up a head of bureaucratic steam: “I can’t help you, I can’t do anything for you, if you don’t have an appointment!”
He’s trying to convey his love, murmurs the receptionist, uphill, nearing despair. I’ve never seen a bureaucrat so embarrassed by some other bureaucrat’s bureaucracy. Delicious.
Tease, Michelle, is beginning to look uncertain, beginning also to glow, to smile.
“That’s all,” I say. “I was here, you took good care of me, I flirted with you. I just wanted to tell you that I had enjoyed our encounter. And there was another woman too. I’m just saying Thanks, and Hi.”
“Rhonda,” says Michelle. “Her name is Rhonda.” Big smile now.
The Food Court was neat, and I was impressed by the Retail Store. The Bay Pines VA Hospital is some damn complex, huge, goes on and on, size of a village. And I believe that was a very good chance that Rhonda was informed that she’d been paid a visit, and a compliment.
When the VA van arrives at the bridge to St. Pete, 275N on the out journey, we stop and water ourselves. High tide comes right up to the sea wall. When the wind is up, wow. I always joke, “Where’s my fishing rod? I should always be able to take at least one cast here.” Well, back at the bus stop, I wanted a couch to snooze on. I wasn’t the only one joking: Where are the dancing girls? Ed demanded. Arrived at 8:30 I could have been back and chaffing for the return trip by a minute after 9! But no, I paid my compliments to Tilly and Tease, and read Our Enemy: the State on the kindle.
2010 10 10 update The doctor just called, good news: basel cell, not malignant, he got all of it. I said, good, thanks, good operation: and told him that I’d stopped back last week to renew my flirtation with his girls: and I had the pleasure of hearing him enjoy the hell out of my account: and promise to tell Michelle and Rhonda immediately.
2015 09 29 I was with the Bay Pines dermatologists again today. Doc froze off another dozen cancers, among other valued treatments. The assistant started to introduce herself. “Michelle!” I chimed. Yes, Tease was Michelle.
More: Flirtation Scrapbook