Bleached concrete

My internist was stocky, but I don’t remember him as solid.  At this remove, it’s hard for me to see how much my sense of his appearance and demeanor are affected by my dislike.  I remember him as narrow-shouldered.  I picture him looking down at papers or away at the screen where my patient records were displayed.  I picture another man’s fumbling after geniality.

It isn’t only separating personal animus from professional evaluation; I can’t separate the part this man played in my history – all my own shame about what happened, all my trauma and self-loathing – from simple dislike.  I don’t think I ever did like the guy – I don’t think he made a favorable impression on me at first, even when I felt sure of myself.

He was replaced as my doctor when he left my insurer’s clinic.  I wasn’t notified ahead of time, or offered a choice of new doctor; I found out that he was gone when I called to make an appointment and was told I would see someone else.  That man I liked, but maybe that’s a measure of relative peace four months later.  It could be simple contrast.  I remember my replacement as easygoing, informed, and responsive.  I trusted him, and through him his employer.

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