I go to the doctor’s for a physical. Dr. Carr has been my physician for a while, but he doesn’t really know me, because, like most guys I know, I avoid the doctor unless I am practically dying. So at first, he looks at my chart with a mixture of mild disapproval and curiosity.
Says here you haven’t had a physical in 3 years, is that right? So what brings you in today?
At first I can’t bring myself to mention the blackouts, and when I finally do, I downplay them, their frequency and severity. He asks me all the requisite questions;
Do you drink or do recreational drugs? Are you on any medication? Have I been having any other symptoms?
And what can I say? Yeah, my other symptoms are I am losing my love handles and I feel freakin’ great? I don’t mention NA because he’s already giving me that ambivalent yet somehow critical look, his brows drawn and lips pressed together in a line, that infers he’s not sure he believes me about the drinking and drugs. And anyway, until now, I’m not sure about the drinking.
As he asks me these things, he draws blood, listens to my heart, takes my blood pressure. Ten minutes later when he returns with the results of the CBC, he proclaims me healthy as a horse. Aside from a slightly elevated basal temperature, which he attributes to the excessive heat of the day, the doctor claims everything looks normal.
Are you depressed at all? Sleeping alright?
He seems largely unconcerned, but draws more blood to send away for some more specialized tests.
It doesn’t matter. I have bigger worries right now. Like Bridget. She eyes me fixedly through the whole meeting last night. Then after the meeting, she sidles up to me as I pour myself a cup of coffee and she drops the bombshell. Quietly.
It’s okay that you didn’t call. We don’t have to make a big deal of it. You’re not supposed to date in recovery anyhow.
Oh, shit. Though at the moment I can’t think of anything less funny, I stifle an urge to break into lunatic giggles. Sorry about your underwear, is all I can think of to say.
She nods as if she expected this, and then turns to leave. I know I’ve made a mistake. At least I think I have. Or maybe this is just one more thing that no longer matters to her armored and blunted feelings. But I don’t want to be that guy that further cripples an already damaged girl. And I am still curious about her in some way I can’t define, but my tongue lies like a dead piece of meat in my mouth and I can think of nothing more to say.