Not Your Typical Sunday Afternoon Break.


I VISITED with a doctor last Sunday.

I had never seen her before.

It didn’t matter.

She wouldn’t remember seeing me.

I was just a number, one of many.

The emergency room was crammed with people who were sick.

I wasn’t.

But I was there.

Minor explosions were erupting all around me.




Flu coming.

Flu going.

Flu hanging around for a while.

We had suffered a change in the weather.

It was hot.

Then it was cold.

Now it was hot again.

That’s what you get in Texas.

We can have a drought and flooding on the same day.

We did what everyone does in a Sunday afternoon emergency room.

We waited.

A few talked.

A few tried to laugh.

Coughing cut through the laughter like a dull knife.

Each person had a different story.

But no one felt like telling one.

No one felt like listening to one.

Almost everyone was quite content to suffer in silence.

The doctor was young.

Those who draw the Sunday afternoon shift always are.

No time to waste.

No time to lose.

No bedside manner.

None needed.

She walked in.

She smiled.

She checked my ailment.

She ordered an X-ray.

“How long will it take to get the results?” I asked.

“Five minutes,” she said.

I love the digital age.

“Does it hurt?” she asked.

“Not a lot,” I said.

You try not to wince when a pretty doctor is in the room.

She was nice enough to ask.

She didn’t really care.

“Your toe’s broke,” she said five minutes later.

I nodded.

I could have told her that without the X-ray.

I had four toes headed west.

And one to cut sharply east.

“Does it need a cast?” I asked.

“Just some tape.”

“I don’t guess it’s serious,” I said.

“You won’t be dancing tonight,” she said.

I nodded.

I hadn’t planned on dancing anyway.

She didn’t ask me how it happened.

I was grateful for that.

There was a good deal of stupidity involved.

I limped when I went out the door.

But I wasn’t coughing.

I was the only one in the room who wasn’t.

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Caleb Pirtle

    I wouldn’t have broken my toe if I hadn’t needed something to blog about.

    • That’s what a writer does: going to extremes for our readers – so they don’t have to.

      • Caleb Pirtle

        I’ll look for something else next time, Alicia. Thanks for reading.

  • Darlene Jones

    Now I’m curious. How did it happen?

    • Caleb Pirtle

      We’ll have to wait for the autopsy, Darlene, and I’m hoping that will be a while.

  • Roger Summers

    I know, I know. Seen it so many times before by writers. Hot after the story, so you went toe-to-toe.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      I lost.

  • Such a great post, how’s the toe?

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Thanks for commenting, Librarian Lavender. The toe is still attached, and it only hurts when I walk, stand, sit, or lie down.

  • Jiji

    Are you coughing now? I figure a good old fashioned cold is the payback for an emergency room visit.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Jenny: When I left the hospital, germs were following me like ants on the way to a picnic.

  • Faye

    I laughed. Sorry.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      I’m glad you laughed, Faye. I signed in at the hospital under an assumed name, and Linda assured everyone that I was simply a stray she saw limping on the side of the road.

  • Christina Carson

    Caleb, you are funny. What else can one do if he doesn’t want to whimper or whine. Though you don’t want gales of laughter or you’re breathing in all the sickness you didn’t bring with you. Glad it was nothing serious.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      My little toe thought it was serious, Christina. My foot only snickered.

  • Don Newbury

    Reminds me of the time Uncle Mort broke both big toes in the same stumble. What idiot left that ______ square dab in the middle of the hall, anyway?…

    • Caleb Pirtle

      I don’t know about Uncle Mort, Don, but in my case, I think the communists left it there on purpose.

Related Posts

Join our mailing list & RECEIVE

a free Ebook Download

Chasing Love 

Join our mailing list & RECEIVE

a free Ebook Download

Chasing Love 

Join our mailing list & RECEIVE

a free Ebook Download

Chasing Love