The Mistaken Doctor
A long time ago when Mr. Floyd was still a student, youthful, lively, a vernal soul yet abrasive. He was just another rudimental and proud man who saw the world full of possibilities. It is only time that makes a boy into a man and only the harshness of privation which brings enough grief to conjure a man to realize his destiny. Floyd was a merely a man.
Having been apprenticed to a senior doctor of a public hospital, Floyd had also undertaken a study to comprehend the behavior and cognition of people with anxiety disorders. Floyd himself was quite a neurotic but he had his ways which were peculiar yet acceptable. And here he was, young and full of potential, a remarkably fortified soul yet bashful.
The hospital was a mediocre public institution, nothing peculiar, dull and silent like a graveyard however, better than other governmental services in the city of K_____. There were three rooms and a dormitory altogether. The patients were housed at the dorm, forty beds. While there was a pharmacy and two remaining rooms served as a clinic. Mr. Floyd would regularly arrive at the hospital and get himself comfortable at the waiting room with patients. It was an unwavering and dull routine. He was absolutely stanched to complete this investigation which he had undertaken as a requirement of his curriculum.
One Tuesday afternoon, Floyd reached the hospital as usual and sat on the bench, jerking his legs when a superintendent who was walking towards the doctor’s room faintly smiled at Floyd and came to shake his hand. It was a friendly gesture. Mr. Floyd had barely conversed with him since his apprenticeship but each day they used to smile at each other as an amicable gesture. However, this particular day, when the doctor was to arrive late and Floyd himself was experiencing periodical twinges in his chest while he jerked constantly, the superintendent greeted him benevolently and arranged for the room to be served at his disposal till the doctor was to arrive.
It was nothing remarkable at the pleasant gesture of this person whom Floyd barely knew but such an idea to wait comfortably for the doctor was more than amicable gesture to him, while, he couldn’t say no for an answer , Floyd was taken aback. He couldn’t afford to be discourteous, his intrinsic bashful idiosyncrasy. So, with a broad pretentious smile at this face he unobtrusively went to the doctor’s room and sat in a rather comfortable chair and after a while tea was served which he thankfully accepted as he requested the valet-nurse to send his regards to the superintendent.
Floyd sat in a red chair, rather comfortable than the wooden benches of the waiting room and he ruminated, about the pointless manifestations of his swerving mind which only envisaged him with the prosaicness of the senseless thoughts. The more he waited, more he felt like a prostitute, waiting for a customer. But, why, thought Floyd would I feel as a harlot. Oh, my mind! It must be playing games with me. Such an incongruous thought! The thought didn’t subside. A palette of thoughts transcended into his fat and coarse brain. He felt a twitching of his heart and he perspired while a myriad of bizarre sensations leveled his soul. He felt for a while he was having a seizure. He lifted both his hands and pressed it against his temples with all his drive. He felt his brain swerving against the skull and his neck; he thought he tasted his slimy brain. He felt a choking sensation and there was something in his throat he couldn’t clear. He tried to cough but he felt empty of air to breathe out. His to and fro head suddenly felt a free-fall and he could see the blaze of absurd manifestations, some were flying high while some were aloft in the air, blue, red, white, green, gradually they faded away and a white light appeared, a speck of light and he clung to that white and he clung with all his might until he regained consciousness.
When he woke up he was still on the chair, he felt a cold breeze through his spine. He was wet in sweat and he thought he heard loud voices outside. He looked at his watch; it was already 4’o clock.
He heard sounds, clamorous, rowdy, ‘Am I still inside my mind’, he commenced to take a few steps but his legs were stiff like a rock. He felt paralyzed yet with much resolution he tried to take a step, his legs jerked more. Suddenly his stomach gave way to a new predicament, he felt bilious, I better go to the toilet and throw up, thought he. But he couldn’t move an inch let alone go to the toilet. He stooped and scowled while his hand gently pressed his belly, ‘oh, getting mad at a mental hospital, its common I guess’, he raged. Suddenly the door flung open and the superintendent who was assumed a very nervous and sullen countenance came inside and began to stammer, ‘why, ___what’s__ become of you’, he jolted too. Having raised Floyd on the chair, he felt the forehead with his palm. You are cold and sweaty. The superintendent drew out an unused and fresh white coat from the drawer of the doctor’s table and said, “Just wear this for a time being, I’ll call the nurse.” And when the superintendent was just about to leave, Floyd with his feeble and husky voice asked, “Hey, what’s the noise?” oh, the patients getting anxious, he assumed a faint smile and went out. Neurotics being neurotic, he gagged.
He wanted air. He choked now and then. It had been half an hour since the superintendent had gone. The noise didn’t subside and sometimes he could hear the patients kicking the wooden chairs or the wall and the complaining was incessant. Why is the doctor so late today, wondered Floyd. He usually arrives in time. After another fifteen minutes he now wanted to go home. But, what if the doctor came, well, it won’t matter anyways, I feel sick and how can I concentrate let alone be in this cold and nauseating room for another hour or so. I should probably go now. Floyd became resolved. A paroxysm of drive flowed inside Floyd, he was resolute and the sweet thought of home made him hate this place more. He suddenly got up, flung opened the door and got out to the waiting room where the patients were fervently waiting. A woman suddenly shrieked, “There he is, the doctor”.
Floyd was startled. There was something remarkable in the way she shrieked, it was a shrill, a cold long expression which assumed the state of anger, hatred. It wasn’t just hatred; it was a squeal which endows the apparition, a pursuit, for something so desirable that the object of desire is certain to be doomed. Just like love, an endless desire, a journey into the unreachable bliss. And there she was and her companions, scowling, offended, fixated, hateful and mostly fanatical. They were patients, the clinic’s patients. Most of all what they were was down to one communal emotion. Revenge, the purest emotion.
“Err, I am not a doctor”, Floyd impulsively responded after observing their body language. Suddenly, the throng of patients, all at the same time took a step forward and it was now evident to Floyd that he was the redeemer to these poor people. Being at the center of attention was not what Floyd usually desired but today he had to address a crowd. He cleared his throat. Nervous and bashful, he reiterated, “I am also waiting for the doctor to arrive”, he jolted relentlessly. There was an unwavering silence.
They still stood there looking at him resolutely; he sensed they didn’t trust him. What more, he had to pass through this resentful horde of people with neurotic inclinations, across these angry, mistrustful and impulsive individuals who have been robbed of their patience. ‘How anger brings unity to those who are enraged’ thought Floyd. And with some courage Floyd paced towards the exit. While he took those tense long steps he jolted, like a gust of wind jolts the leaves. He could see sunlight outside the door and he now desired for the warm embrace of the fat old sun. But midway through the waiting room, the woman who had earlier shrieked suddenly got hold of Floyd’s arm and drew him some steps back. And thrusting him with all her might, she asked aggressively, “why, then do you wear the white coat”. Floyd was startled. He wasn’t sure what would be an appropriate answer. ‘Should I tell them I had a seizure, would they trust me, should I lie, but what should I say, oh! Where is the superintendent’, all these thoughts racked into Floyd’s head, he gaped. Unable to answer the question in haste, he began, “I… I was… there was a light…”, what am I saying, what is there to say, Floyd looked straight into the woman’s eye, he was exasperated surely, and very impulsively with his loud husky voice asserted, “who are you to demand an explanation from me”, he flung his arm against the woman’s hand which she was holding firmly. Her eyebrows shrank, she tried to get hold of his arm again, and Floyd exclaimed, “Leave me alone, will you?” He turned back and paced towards the door. There was already a commotion. Somebody shouted, “He’s running away, don’t let him go, catch the doctor”.
Floyd ran towards the door. However, upon reaching the doorknob, suddenly, he felt a blow in his head. Somebody had hit him with a blunt object. He began to blur. He heard voices but couldn’t make out what it meant; he abruptly landed on the floor. Floyd wanted to scream but no words could come out, he wanted to explain but who would have the patience to listen anyways, he wanted to see what was happening but his vision was teary, all he could see was light, a speck of light and he clung to that white and he clung with all his might.