If someone were to ask me how I’m doing right now.
I’d have to pause.
I’d have to take a moment to go looking for phone books.
The old school ones with white and yellow, and maybe pink? – It’s been so long.
I don’t even know if they still make them anymore.
Or maybe they just congregate at recycling depots.
Bypassing Reduce and Reuse on their way.
I could use, say, maybe 5. Though 4 could work.
The one tucked into a webspace physically just won’t do.
You see if someone were to ask how I’m doing right now,
I’d need a prop. In fact, 5 of the fat ones please.
I’d use them to climb, taller, higher.
And then. Maybe then I could say: I’m doing okay.
Without igniting a complexion of deception,
The burn of blushing in falsity.
But teetering at such height,
Still carries some risk. Though today, it’s outweighed.
The benefit being balls over bones.
Because of course, if someone were to ask how I’m doing right now,
The polite answer is to say: yah, I’m okay.
In fact, surgery was cool – I took out a kidney, felt a real live lung!
Learned how to open an abdomen and stuff it all back together.
Like new, well, minus perhaps the staples and poop bag.
I met patients with cancer, and others without colons.
Gun shots and stab wounds to “appies” and “choles”,
It’s not every day, to say pancreaticoduodenectomy – all in one breath.
There’s more to say – the human body:
A privilege. It’s humbling. I’m awed.
So, now if someone were to ask how I’m doing right now,
To act, sans props, sans eye shadow and tights,
It’s just seems wrong and disjointed – though orthopedics comes soon.
I don’t have cancer, my colon passes gas,
My calcium is normal*; there’s no reason for moans,
My pedestal is medicine, or so the culture goes,
I already have height on that totem pole,
It’s growing, I guess, as an MSI 3**.
So rid these thoughts of those phone books,
I already have the app and it’s time I learn: to just say okay.
*I think my calcium is normal. This is an assumption. I won’t lie and tell you I haven’t thought about sending my own blood for an E7 (a basic lab panel) and extended lytes…
**MSI 3 is shorthand for Medical Student Intern in 3rd year of undergraduate study. It defines our status on that hierarchical totem pole.