Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Would Not Be a Doctor Today

Out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed something familiar. The unmistakable dance of syncope. An effortless falling. A surrender to gravity. Her body arched as her young companion lunged forward. Supporting her from behind he gently walked/carried her to the cabana.

And I watched from my chair at the pool. I reached reflexively for the stethoscope around my neck but then realized it was thousands of miles away. My children played at my feet. My quiet vacation in Mexico interrupted by my identity....my profession. My mind spinning, calculating...should I intercede?

The women was now laying face down in the cabana with her head hanging over the side. A bucket had been propped under her mouth. Her young companion sat next to her and stroked her graying hair. An older gentleman approached. They laughed and chided without worry. They shared a passing resemblance. Father and son?

A man in a life guard uniform approached with walkie talkie flapping in front of his face. He was met by two security guards who hoisted the woman and carried her agilely toward an adjacent building. The companions continued a heated converstaion as if nothing had happened.

I turned to my wife whose head was buried in a book.

"Did you see that?"

"See what?"

My children entered the shallow end of the pool. I lifted the Corona to my mouth and took another swig.

It was 10am on a Monday morning.

I pulled my hat over my eyes and reclined like the rest of the tourists sitting poolside...oblivious.

For the first time in years I felt permission to relax...

I would not be a doctor today.

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