When it comes to the American healthcare system, appointments are key. And, if you’re a younger worker, extra vigilance is needed to secure one ahead of retirees who have much clearer schedules than you—everyday. This is because, for the older generations, visiting the doctor has become something of a recreational sport. If not just for the social conversation, their appointments mean to set the stage for future appointments with chats about a campaign of perceived long-off ailments that have yet to come.

Upon entering the office, the waiting room felt musty with the smell and atmosphere of a newly discovered attic, stale and uninviting. Chairs lined the walls of flower printed-paper and possessed the kind of cushion old ladies rave about for 15 minutes at a time. I had hoped that I might be through before any more showed up to befriend the rather perky one that was then propped up in the corner, reading a magazine about housewares. You see this all the time, older people that seemingly possess all the wits and health that one might be afforded at their age, trolling about medical facilities merely to relish the feeling of having medical staff attend to them. Truly—aside from the few exceptional cases—people who often go to doctors are so apparently neurotic, if I ever become a psychologist I’d never have to advertise; I’d just use the local medical offices as recruiting stations. So, this is our system; not the most encouraging, but luckily I was only in for a check-up.

After having learned all the hoops that one must jump through to navigate the complicated silliness that is the American healthcare system, I was dually pissed to learn that they had switched the physician I would be seeing that day. I like my doctor. He’s a guy’s guy; but not so over the top that he pops the collar of his white coat and makes you want to slap him. He’s thorough in his work, explanation, people skills, and, he doesn’t rush you out of his office or babble on about answers to questions you haven’t really asked. Simply put, I wanted to see him because I knew him, not this “Dr. Smith” person. Just the name, Smith, reminded me so much of the legacy and arrogance of white supremacy that by the time the nurse called my name I was furious with this doc. In the middle of the walk to the examination room my thoughts drifted to fantasies about how I might make his job more difficult—like taking a dump in the urine collection receptacle. I even thought of a great excuse too, “Sorry bro…number 2 is number 1 today…”

Just when I had the entire routine down, my plans were arrested by the appearance of a brunette woman in her early 30’s, holding a clipboard and wearing the whitest coat I had ever seen. I squinted abruptly and almost shielded my eyes as she spoke with her attention directed at the paperwork before her.

“Hello, I’m doctor Smith.” Her voice was soft and natural, possessing a tone recognizable among friends.
“…Hello… I’m—
But before I could finish she interrupted me.
“Yes I know who you are…” She let out a sigh towards the end of her sentence as she plopped down heavy on the stool beside the cushioned table were I sat. Tossing the clipboard on the desk behind her, her demeanor became that of a frustrated teenage girl, her expression falling somewhere between an expression of relief and the building climax before the delivery of important news.
“I’ve read your file, “ she stared blankly at a spot near the floor. Confused and rendered nervous by the silence that ensued, I grasped at the first grammatically correct sentence that popped into my head.
“So, what happened to my usual doctor…I mean is he sick or something?”
“No, he’s fine. This was my call. I requested you.”
“…I’m not sure I understand.”
“You come highly recommended…” She looked up now, staring me down with the piercing force of green eyes against the backdrop of her caramel colored skin.
“Excuse me…? Um…I—”
She interrupted me again.
“So, your check-up. Let’s begin shall we? If you’ll please drop your pants and briefs…” She turned to her paperwork momentarily while preparing her gloves.
“Um I don’t…I mean, I’m not sure that—well, usually my doctor…” Racing thoughts had created a train wreck within the bottleneck pathway by which my brain and tongue communicate. She hadn’t heard my pleas. Having finished her preparations she dragged the stool over toward the examination table and positioned it in front of me. She waited for my compliance.
“Okay then…” I said slowly.
At that moment I had lost the ability to produce rational speech and could only act; so I did.

Lowering my feet to the floor below, I stood up and slowly exposed myself to the open air of the room. Upon the exposition of my penis and testicles (I read the medical terminology chart while waiting for the doctor to come in) she let out a subtle gasp as her body twitched backward.

“What…what’s wrong…? Is it okay? I managed to push past my vocal chords.
“No… Yes…no nothing’s wrong. It’s fine.” She quickly answered.
The examination begun, and throughout the lengthy time that she held me in her hands, I thought most certainty that amongst the many heavy exhales that escaped her lungs, she muttered, “oh…my god..” and “..so big..
When it was finally over, Dr. Smith shot up from her stool, fumbling for her clipboard as she stumbled toward the door. The traffic had cleared my brain and I found my words again.
“Doctor, if I may, why is it that you requested to see me?”
She paused a moment. Her eyes were fixated past me now, focusing on some invisible attraction I couldn’t see.
“I had to know if the legends were true; they are…and I wasn’t disappointed.” Her eyes were filled with the glint of newly formed tears as she met my eyes for the last time.
“Thank you. Thank you.”