I know a number of you ask about my interactions with the good doctors, Dr E and Dr O so I thought I would take you back. Way back. My first involvement with these people of medicine was not with Dr E or Dr O but a fellow who I shall refer to as Dr M. I thought I would take you back to my first meeting with Dr M. It was a cold winter’s day when I entered the elegant building where Dr M had his consulting rooms. They are in the same building as where I would later learn that Dr E and Dr O practise. I was shown into a drawing room which had an open fire but it was not lit. The room was warm nevertheless. Dr M was already sat in front of his expansive desk. He rose to greet me but I walked straight past him and sat in a chair. He tried not to look taken aback but I knew that he was. He sat down and adjusted his position as he placed his fingertips together creating a triangle and rested his hands on his chest. He was clearly trying to conjure up an image of intelligence. I was not impressed.
“Good morning Mr Tudor, I am Dr M. I will be working with you. Thank you for addressing the administrative details with my secretary, I appreciate it is a bit of a bind but the paperwork needs to be in place. I thought that today we could just have a general discussion rather than launch into specifics. A fireside chat if you will. I usually take notes but I am not going to do so today. So let me ask how are you?”
I said nothing. I looked at the doctor’s shoes. I noticed he was wearing Chelsea boots which interested me but not enough to comment on it. The doctor waited and I could hear a clock ticking in the room. It was somewhere behind me. There was no other sound. The walls in this old building were thick, not like the tissue and spit of modern constructions. The door was solid as well. No noise would be heard from beyond and I reasoned nobody would hear what was said in here either.
“I asked how are you?” the doctor repeated after a moment of waiting. I shifted my gaze to look at him but I still said nothing. He seemed unfazed by my silence.
“Very well. Let’s begin by discussing why you are with me today.”
I waited but there was no question. I remained silent. I looked over at Dr M’s desk. It was an antique partner’s made from mahogany and was inset with maroon leather. It was one of those large desks which had draws on both sides so that a partner, in whatever business it might be, would sit on one side and an underling, some kind of clerk, would sit directly opposite him sharing the desk. There was a large leather chair on the other side of the desk. The top of the desk bore a couple of books although I could not read the titles from where I was sat and a neat pile of papers. I could see a pen lying on its side also.
“I appreciate you do not want to be here but you are now. In order for us to help one another we do need to have a conversation,” said Dr M.
I flicked my gaze back at him and focussed on his suit. It was navy, heavy looking most likely wool. There was a pinstripe in the material. I wondered if he purchased two pairs of trousers with the suit. He looked like a man who spent a lot of time on his backside and this would mean the woollen crotch of his trousers would soon wear away. A second pair was a must. I glanced at Dr M’s crotch to try and ascertain if I could see a hole forming. A small opening in the trousers through which his doubtless white underwear could be viewed. So far the wool was holding out.
“Very well. Why don’t you tell me something about yourself?” he invited.
I was nonplussed earlier but now I was becoming bored. I let my eyes wander over to the fireplace. It was substantial and I thought it was a pity that there was no fire lit. I could see logs stacked up inside the fireplace but the flames were absent. No doubt it would contravene patient safety having a fire in here. I baulked at using the word patient. That was what he regarded me as. I was no patient. I was not some drooling imbecile wheeled in by white uniformed staff and followed by anxious relatives. I was no drink-addled half-wit whose brain had turned to mush through years of alcohol abuse so he would routinely soil himself. Those were the type of degenerates, admittedly well-looked after degenerates that normally came to these places.
“Whenever you are ready Mr Tudor,” he gave me a short smile which I assume was meant to reassure me. I looked at him again and fixed him with a stare. Interestingly he met my gaze. His expression was not challenging nor was it threatening. He just looked at me as I looked at him. He glanced towards his desk and then moved slightly in his seat. Yes he was prone to fidgeting, that crotch would soon be worn away on that suit. His shirt was white which amused me. Only police officers and airline pilots wear white shirts. Even though I could see it was expensive it should not have been white. I did notice that it was double-cuffed so that was something at least. Single cuff would have generated scorn and heaven forbid he wore a short-sleeve shirt under a suit jacket I would have walked straight out.
“We have plenty of time, so just when you are comfortable.”
Indeed we did have plenty of time. Two hours’ worth thanks to the power of my parents’ cheque book. So the pair of us sat in that grand drawing room with the absent fire and let two hours pass in complete silence. Dr M said nothing more as he waited for me to speak and I said nothing more as I had nothing to say to him. I concentrated on using my silence to make him feel uncomfortable. I could tell by the way he kept shifting in his seat he wanted to speak or listen. He made to speak on several occasions but something prevented him from doing so. I occupied my thoughts with planning the rest of my day and also how I might entice his frosty looking but obviously hugely efficient secretary into my world. I ran through a variety of scenarios which made the time pass rather quickly. I was almost taken by surprised when Dr M cleared his throat and spoke.
“Well our time is at end this week Mr Tudor. I shall see you again next week same day and the same time. Good day,” he said pleasantly as he rose from his seat.
I said nothing. I walked past him and headed to the door as the surge began inside me.
Round one to HG.