Welcome friend to Create Art Podcast where we create more than we consume. I am Timothy Kimo Brien your thankful head instigator with over 20 years in arts and education helping you tame your inner critic and provide you with commentary, interviews, discussions, and projects that will inspire you to create art. This month I will be podcasting daily and writing a novel in 30 days. I am participating in NaPodPoMo and NaNoWriMo. You will be able to listen to what I wrote for the day and read it at the same time. I like to practice what I preach when it comes to art so I am challenging myself to write and having you come along for the ride. I hope this inspires you to accomplish your goals with your art and if you would like to share what you are doing email me at email@example.com
The Story So Far
2 Nov 2020 day count 1565 cumulative count 3507
Carl got into his car. On the dash, the clock flashed 9:00. He was about 10 minutes away from the doctor’s office and he would make it with a few minutes to spare. He turned on the car and opened the windows. Lit a cigarette from the crushed pack and sucked I the fumes for a moment. He switched his phone to a podcast he was listening to yesterday that he wanted to finish and pulled the car out of the parking spot. He was sure that the conversation would be about the recent MRI he had and all that entailed, more MRI’s, his doctor recommending another procedure for more in depth testing, more money to be spent that he would have rather saved for a rainy day. Its not that he did not have insurance, it is just that with every test, with every appointment, he was always rubbing up against his annual maximum benefit. During his last brain surgery, he hit his maximum that year just from that one procedure and it did not slow the glacial growth of the tumor. Sure, everything was “free” for the rest of the year, but he had to call his brother to help him after the procedure to watch him for 4 days. He hated calling on anyone for assistance, especially his family.
These thoughts and others brought him to the doctor’s office without him realizing it. The building was a three-level box near the mall. He had to maneuver the car around the back as the parking lot was already full at this time of day. This office was not like his primary care docs office which was much more inviting and had a better parking lot, this office was tucked away, not visible from the main road. He often wondered how his brain doc decided on this place to establish his practice. He found a spot that was not too crowded, the car next to him had handicap plates as the handicap spots had been filled probably by daybreak. The car was askew in the spot, but not too much, Carl was able to fit his vehicle between the car and the curb. He got out and headed around the building to the main entrance. He would have to take the elevator today as the stairs were being mopped according to the wet floor sign blocking the stairway door. The elevator was slow and would get him to the office on the third floor just in time for his name to be called. It smelled a little like urine, and e was sure when he was done, the custodian would have it blocked off to clean up the accident that must have recently happened.
Once the door slipped open to the third floor, he got out with his insurance card in hand and approached the receptionist. She was on the phone with another patient that from what he could tell was giving her all sorts of grief. Without a word he signed in, smiled at the harried receptionist and handed his card and driver’s license to her.
“Good morning Carl, I’ll be right with you,” said the nurse, cupping her hand over the receiver.
“Take your time, I am still early,” replied Carl.
He found a seat near the receptionist station and opened The Paris Review from where he left off at the coffee shop. He suddenly remembered that he left the coffee that Cheryl had made him in the car, by the time he got out of here it was sure to be tepid or worse yet, cold.
“Carl, I am ready for you,” said the receptionist.
He jumped up and dog eared his spot in the book. He pulled out his credit card as he owed the co-pay. The process was robotic at this point with all f his specialists. He handed the card to her with a smile.
“Did you need a receipt,” asked the receptionist?
“That would be great, gotta keep all these for tax time right,” replied Carl.
“Here you go, the doctor is running a bit late, but he should be ready for you in about fifteen minutes,” said the receptionist. “What are you reading this time,” she asked?
“Oh, just last season’s Paris Review, they have a great interview with my favorite writer in this issue,” Carl replied.
“You always bring in the best books. I wish I had time to read as much as you do.”
“Well when you have as many appointments as I do and wait in as many waiting rooms as I do, you can catch up on a lot of reading.”
“I don’t think I want to have as many appointments as you do. How are you feeling today,” she asked?
“Ah well not bad, had an episode at the coffee shop before getting here, nothing serious and before you ask, yes I noted it in my tracker.”
“I’ll let the doctor know to ask you about that, I hope he has some good news for you.”
“I’ll just settle for news but thank you.”
Carl made it back to his seat with the insurance card, his drivers license, credit card and receipt. He put it all away neatly in his wallet and opened his book back to the previous spot. The waiting room was not that full, he wondered where all the cars in the lot came from. That is when he remembered he was on the third floor; the other people must be on the other floors. He liked to be in the waiting rooms when it was not so busy. He finished the interview with the author he liked and tried reading the poetry in that issue. Once again it was modern stuff from people he had never heard of before. It was not bad poetry; it just was not his cup of tea. He preferred poetry from before the 60’s. Something about modern poetry with its own format didn’t agree to well with his sensibilities. He was not a prude about it, he just felt like he was missing out on the punch line of a joke. He thumbed through a few pages and then dog eared the last one. The next article was commentary on the art of fiction, and he wanted to save that for his return trip to the coffee shop. He opened his phone app that tracked what he was reading and put down the page number, he was 60% through this book. It made him feel good that he could still read at an accelerated pace. He wondered how much longer he would be able to keep up his pace of 30 books a year. It had gone down from 50 books a year just two years ago. H reasoned that he had been reading longer books, that is why he picked up reading The Paris Review and Poetry Magazine. It helped him keep his pace up as the books were only 200 paged or so long.
“Carl, are you ready,” asked the intake nurse?
“Waiting to see you all day darling, how are you doing,” Carl replied in a flirtatious tone.
“If you were ten years younger, get in here let’s get you started,” she replied jokingly.
He had fun with the intake nurse every time he came to this specialist office. She was about ten years older than him, skinny but always upbeat. She was a smoker like him and always asked if he was ready to quit. His reply was the same each time, you first. The intake nurse took his height and weight, blood pressure and temperature.
“Okay so I see here according to the receptionist you had an episode this morning, how are you feeling right now,” she asked?
“I am doing okay, had a hard time getting to sleep last night and this just came out of the blue. I was picking up a butter knife to spread some cream cheese on a bagel and felt woozy, and then I was reading and fell asleep with my eyes open at the coffee shop. Nothing major, probably just need to see less doctors,” Carl reported.
“Well if you see less doctors, that means I get to see you less and you are one of my favorites,” she replied.
“I bet you say that to all the 42-year-old brain tumor patients,” Carl joked.
“Nope just you. You always come in with a good book and a positive attitude. I’ll let the doctor know about that episode you had today, any others that he should know about since last time,” she asked?
“You know me, I brought the tracker. I think the last time I was here was three months ago, so let me see, yeah there was about one each month. So, I guess I was due for one today.”
“Hmmm, okay, does not seem like you are having more, just staying steady with about one per month. How about the severity, is that getting worse,” she asked?
“Not that I can tell, but you know what this means, probably another trip t the MRI,” he replied.
“Well, we will let the doc make that call, you know me, I am just a nurse. I hope you get better; the doc is just finishing up with another patient, take care,” she said with almost a tear in her voice.
To reach out to me, email firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear about your journey and what you are working on. If you would like to be on the show or have me discuss a topic that is giving you trouble write in and lets start that conversation.