Discreet Music | January 11, 2018

“Discreet Music” is the name of a Brian Eno album from 1975 and also a new blog series I’m running through January, prompted by a journal-writing theme I started in Germany over the holidays. It’s inspired by the David Sedaris book I’m reading that chronicles his journal entries from the late ’70s onward.

The photographs are taken from our flight from Germany over the north pole, late December.

I hadn’t seen my doctor in six years. I’d seen other doctors, but not this one. When he finally came in, he had a mohawk on. Then I noticed he was wearing Crocs (rubber clogs) with no socks, and I thought for a moment he sounded gay. Maybe things had changed, I don’t know, I didn’t care.

I remarked on his hair and he said he was trying to look young (and it worked). And we talked about cholesterol and lipids and he asked me to take my shirt off and then he asked if I was worried about any moles, and I said no. I really just wanted to get out of there. The last doctor gave me a stern talk about my drinking and I’d been honest on the questionnaire this time but this doctor didn’t seem to look at that or care and that felt legitimate, somehow. I got my blood drawn and looked sideways at the cartoons in the cubicle and then drove to the recreational cannabis shop nearby and bought a package of cannabinoid oil in honey capsules with colorful packaging and lots of warning statements. And then I cooked chicken cacciatore and ran a bath while Dawn took the kids to dance. And I got reminded of some dreams I had, waking up with that webby feeling of them on me still, sitting in our den in the morning in the dark contemplating things, re-entering the atmosphere, touching down. I’d told the nurse I was feeling a sense of breathlessness and she corrected me, shortness of breath. Maybe it’s just getting older, I said. I used to climb mountains and stuff, I said. And when they weighed me I was heavier than I thought I was and when they measured me, shorter.

Categories: Humor, Memoir

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

17 replies

  1. I’ve been filling out that questionnaire before every doctor’s visit and being about 90% honest on my alcohol consumption … putting numbers down that should cause any medical professional to talk to me about it. And not a single nurse or doctor has done so. I had some issues a few months ago which led to some ultrasounds, CT scans, etc. Turns out I have a fatty liver. Whoda thunk it. When my doctor and I exchanged messages about the results, did he suggest I cut back on my drinking? Nope. Not sure what purpose he actually serves anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The last time I went to the doctor (for some upsetting but not scary symptoms), she didn’t do anything but type on her rolling computer station, then concluded I needed to drink more water. I paid a hundred bucks for that little piece of advice, and now I drink water all the livelong day.

    As for drinking, it wouldn’t surprise me, given the state of the country/world right now, if a doctor said, “Dude, you’re not drinking enough!”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Fucking gravity, right? Well, I had to say something other than, “I drink too much and my doctor scolds me every time… yet, not so much about the other stuff mentioned.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I went in for my first physical in decades and was expecting all sorts of rude probings of orifices and members and such. I was very surprised when all they did was take my blood. Times have changed. Or did I just have a weirdo doctor before?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. breathless/short of breath – never thought about the difference between them and implications of each


  6. Perhaps nurses only get breathless when off-duty.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I snorted when I read that, trying to be discreet reading your comments while away on family vacation in Portland over the weekend, and an effort to be device-free, which worked pretty well (and was reliably relaxing, as it always is). Happy Wednesday to you now, I guess! When you wake! Hope the season is treating you well Bruce.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The nurse was wrong. It is breathlessness. She’s too analytical.

    I still can’t get used to the coming tide of legal weed. It still seems like a terrible idea to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It doesn’t seem like a good idea to me, either. It’s incredibly strange: I think the edibles is probably the most worrisome, particularly for kids.


  8. I knew these comments would be gems. They usually are, but this brought out the geezer in all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: