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Thursday, October 1, 2015

AN APPOINTMENT WITH DR AROCHA

vincent van gogh

In town this morning, I went out to the small restaurant outside town on Hwy 21 toward Glade Valley, The Circle L. Had not been there in four years. It's so far out of my way, I need to make a point to go there specifically. Crystal's friend, Natasha Bourne, took it over, something like a year ago. I'd been meaning to go there to see it in Natasha's care and to support her, as I feel like whatever business I buy something from, the purchase is a gesture of support. The place has a new sign and table covers, black and white checkerboard pattern. Just that touch gave the interior a new feeling. The dining area is about the size of a small mobile home. One wall has a huge print in a frame with glass of The Last Supper, not DaVinci's, but a copy based in his. I wanted a Circle L breakfast today. Had a doctor's appointment earlier, checkup on blood pressure, first thing. Ate nothing before going, didn't even have coffee. Already, I'd planned to have a late breakfast at the Circle L, scrambled eggs, sausage, grits and toast with coffee. American as Nascar.
 
vincent van gogh
 
The doctor appointment was painless, even fun. I like my doctor. The nurse, who read blood pressure and drew three vials of dark red blood, I like for her intelligence and her humanity. The young woman at the check-in window is a friend of mine named Winter, a charming girl. I can't help but call her a girl, she's so much younger than me, in the zone where I can't even guess her age, could be anything between fifteen and twenty-five. I knew her brother and her step-dad. Brother died a few years ago and dad a few months ago. Her mother died a few years ago. A sister moved away. Winter is what's left of her family, though she has several relatives. They were good people who had a hard time making it in this world, people I understand better than people who seem to get it. Without even knowing Winter beyond our greetings when we meet, I feel a familial affection for her like a niece or a cousin. I'm always happy to see her. She'd had her hair colored since last time I saw her. It is a dark brown and she added a copper kind of tone to it that didn't change the color of her hair as much as it enhanced it. She apologized for her hair not being perfect, didn't have time this morning to mess with it. I thought it perfect as it was, like at home, relaxed.
 
vincent van gogh
 
The doctor is Cuban from Miami. He is a doctor I have confidence in with my life. I've heard he worked his way through nursing school, worked as a nurse for ten years, worked his way through medical school and turned into a doctor. He is my ideal of a human being's character. Not because he is like me, but because he is way beyond me. I switched doctors to him, Jose Arocha, because the second time he saw me, he remembered me. The previous doctor I went to for thirty-five years is an excellent doctor I have full confidence in. I saw him in the coffee shop one day and he didn't know me. I had to tell him who I was to explain why I spoke to him. I felt like we were in the dark, couldn't see. I thought: a doctor I've seen half my life doesn't know me; a doctor I've only met a few times talks with me like a person when I see him. The women who work for him appear to regard him with respect for who he is, his personality, his character. He came here when Cuban subdivisions had brought a Cuban community to the county. Some very interesting people came here to live.
 
vincent van gogh
 
They brought their culture with them, a culture of really good food, good dancers, intelligent professionals, good musicians, gregarious party-loving people, who don't need to get stupid to have a good time. Then the real estate bust happened. Too many of them had to return to Miami because they could not sell their houses, and could not sell the property here. I liked having the Cubans here. They brought a breath of life with them. And when they went back to Miami, they took it with them. Some have continued here and wove themselves into the community. Such good people they make me want to be born in Cuba next lifetime. When the oceans rise within the next half century there won't be much left of Cuba but the mountains. Cubans survived half a century of American hostility, moving the cities inland to the mountains will be the beginning of a new life, a rejuvenation and reformation of the culture, or so I suppose from the Old World looking to the unknowable future. My doctor even read a biography of Van Gogh a few years ago. He has a wide range of interests that makes him an enjoyment to talk with. He gives me sound medical counsel, too, in language I didn't need to go to medical school to understand.  
 
vincent van gogh
 
 
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2 comments:

  1. Enjoyed Vincent's paintings. Also enjoyed your description of small town life. I bet your old doctor knew you. Glad you have a new one!

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  2. Sabra, the old dr knew my name, but not my face. A totally left brain individual. No right brain. I need both.

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