Godless Monkey will be away on a photo expedition of Mexico, Central America and Columbia from March 19th to April 20th. I’m running some of my old stories in my absence for your enjoyment.
Stepping into the oncology ward Marvin was confronted with a bewildering assortment of people in various stages of illness. He was immediately drawn to a frail looking woman who nevertheless was well made up and seemed to have a presence about her. He approached her smiling.
“Hello, I’m Dr. Wirtz. How are you feeling today?”
She looked at him without much interest. “As well as can be expected I suppose.” She gazed out the window and said nothing further.
Marvin picked up her chart and began reading. Stage two lymphoma, anaemia, low platelet count. He put the chart down and addressed her again.
“Well, I see we have our work cut out for us here. I have some advice for you.”
She turned back to him and looked him up and down. “And what might that be?”
He leaned in closer and fixed her with his gaze. “Young lady, you should get up out of that bed and start living!”
He crossed his arms and gave her a stern look. “Think positive! Carpe diem! You have your whole life ahead of you, no time for lolly-gagging.”
The shock she felt was plain to see. “Excuse me? I have cancer, what exactly…”
“Yes, yes, you have lymphoma. I would think the novelty would have worn off by now. Get over yourself. Let it go. Get rid of it.”
He pointed his finger at her. “It’s all up to you, good woman! Drive this demon from your body. You can do it. Don’t give up your power. Enough of this foolishness, I say. You need to get up and…do some yoga! Yes, a Salutation to the Sun, some Lion Faces, why, it would do you a world of good.”
Her color was rising as he spoke and she reached for the nurse’s call button. Marvin snatched it from her hand.
“Did you not understand me? You don’t need anyone else but yourself! Rise, I say, and seize the day!” With that he began doing yoga on the floor beside her bed. “You see? It’s good! Come on, join me!”
She was gaping at him open mouthed now and pulling the covers up to her chin. He got up and wandered out. She’ll come around as soon as my advice sinks in, he thought. Some people just take longer than others. He continued along the hall until he came to the nurses station.
As a fax came through in Security one of the guards wandered over to have a look. He picked it up and skimmed it, then read again with growing interest. He called out to his boss.
“Hey, Charlie, you better have a look at this.”
“What is it Frank?” Charlie was engrossed in the website he was looking at.
“They found the body of a doctor in the parking lot over on Edison Street. Apparently he was in charge of a mental patient that’s now gone missing. They seem to think he’s still in the area and that he might turn up here since we’re the nearest hospital. We haven’t had any reports of anything strange happening, have we?”
Up at the nurse’s station in the oncology ward Marvin was chatting up one of the nurses.
“…So that’s my theory on the matter. Really, you just need to give these people a new outlook on life. Why, I just got through telling that girl with lymphoma she needs to get up and do some yoga. I even demonstrated for her. I don’t understand why none of you have thought of this before.”
The nurse blinked at him and thought hard. “So, what did you say your name was, doctor?”
Marvin smiled. “I’m doctor Howard. I’m new here. Just started, really. Say, how long has it been since you’ve had an exam?”
She nodded her head. “If you’ll just excuse me for a minute doctor, I have something to attend to.”
She moved to the other side of the station and picked up the phone. “Hello, security?”
Marvin heard her and came around to where she was. “Am I not making myself clear?” He turned to the doctors and nurses who were now staring at him.
“What is the matter with you people? Where is your humanity? We need to help these people! We need to show them the light!” He was pacing and waving his arms now. As the elevator door opened and two security guards came for him his shoulders slumped.
“I don’t suppose you gentlemen understand either,” he said shaking his head.
He was diligently explaining as they escorted him downstairs.