My expedition was to a physicians hospital office to get the results of a medical test performed the previous week. Normally the hospital is about a twelve to twenty minute drive depending on the traffic. My appointment was for ten thirty in the morning. Spring had arrived at last. The day was warm and pleasant and I decided to take the bus and arrive early to stroll the lovely grounds. I left home at ten to nine and walked five minutes to the bus stop. A few people were waiting. No bus was insight. After several minutes I decided to walk a few blocks to the stop at the main intersection. The light at the intersection was red It changed to green but the traffic didn’t move, including the gridlock caught in the inter section and the firetruck with the flashing lights and blaring siren.
I struckup a conversation with a frail looking but sprightly older senior sporting a cane and grocery bags filled with clippings from her garden. She told me that her son had driven her here, from farther north taking side streets. Only one lane of south bound traffic was open on the main road due to road construction and traffic was virtually at a stand still. Buses weren’t getting through. She had been waiting for about forty minutes at this stop for a bus that never came. It turned out that she had an apointment at the same hospital where I was going. The bags of plant clippings were for the doctors receptionist. Her appointment was for eleven o’clock and she was afraid she would be late. If she was going to be late for her eleven o’clock appointment what chance did I have to get to my appointment by ten thirty? I thought of calling the doctors office to inform the receptionist that I would be late . I opened my purse and “Oh Oh “ my phone was not there. I realized It was still plugged in to the charger on the kitchen counter. I looked for a taxi .There was a shortage of taxi cabs in the vicinity . The only one I saw was going in the opposite direction filled with passengers. Then I had an idea. I would ask the lady with the cane and bags of clippings if I could have a bag of clippings to give to my doctor’s receptionist as a peace offering for arriving late–but the old lady wasn’t there. Then I spotted her . She was in the middle of the road trying to get someone to give her a ride. She approached several vehicles and tapped on the window with her cane. She tried to convince the few drivers who actually rolled down their windows to give her a lift. She was unsuccessful. Suddenly the traffic started to move. I yelled for the gutsy senior to be careful and to return to the safety of the side walk. I suspect in addition to being somewhat physically challenged she was also somewhat hearing challenged because she ignored me. She finally hobbled out of the way, weaving in and out of traffic at almost the same minute that the bus finally arrived.
I arrived at my appointment an hour late. Other patients were also late due to the road conditions. The doctor did see me for maybe two minutes to tell me that my test results were fine. Why couldn’t these results been relayed by telephone ? I know Doctors want to get paid, but perhaps a telephone consultation fee could be paid by health insurance .
I took the bus home. South bound traffic moved quickly. It was a fast ride and also an interesting ride. Me and others on the bus couldn’t help being privy to the one-sided telephone conversation of a fellow passenger. His phone had a very loud ring and he had an even louder voice. The one sided conversation went something like this: ‘HELLO , HELLO, WHO IS THIS?—— BRIAN? HOW DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER BRIAN?—- YA YA I AM REALLY INTERESTED IN MEETING WITH YOU BRIAN. BUT HERE IS THE THING, BRIAN YOU CANT CALL ME BY MY REAL NAME. CALL ME ON MY OTHER NUMBER I AM REALLY INTERESTED.”
Interested in What ? A drug deal? A romantic liaison? A contract to kill someone? I never did find out.I wanted to ask him to turn on the speaker on his phone so we could hear the whole conversation. I didn’t because I didn’t think it was politically correct to do so. The bus arrived at my stop and I exited the bus although I must admit I was tempted to stay on board to eavesdrop on more of the one sided conversation. Now some of you must think I am a nosy busy body. That may be true but I prefer to think of myself as a curious individual interested in people and their lives. Hmm that does sound like a busy body. Well nobody is perfect.
My expedition to the doctor lasted over three hours. I saw the doctor for two minutes, The good thing is this expedition gave me fodder for this blog.