Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Friday, March 24

Milk & Honey

The Marquis and I are finishing our Belvedere martinis when Pasteur calls my cell phone, ready to take us to the next stop of the evening. Pfizer’s taking us to the Ruth's Chris Steak House tonight. I usually avoid these things, but the speaker’s a friend of mine and he’s smart, so I’ve agreed to go.

‘I’m a birthday candle in a circle of black girls,’ Pasteur says happily over the song when we get in.

I’m immediately sorry I gave him a copy of Alligator by the National. Irony needs to be difficult and inaccessible, like Zappa’s Thing-Fish, or it’s not irony anymore. I chastise Pasteur, ‘Don’t sing what you don’t understand.’

At a red stoplight downtown we see one of the HIV crackwhores who frequents the ED a couple times a month.

‘Hey Lorshonda!’ I say, giving her an unmoving hand wave.

‘Hey Boo,’ she says, walking over to our car.

‘You taking care of yourself?’ I ask her.

‘You know I am,’ she says, puckering her mouth, pulling her face into her shoulder and laughing.

Pasteur reaches into the backseat and grabs a bottle of water. He reaches across me and hands it to her.

As part of our salary, we’re given a meal allowance of seven dollars per meal. Pasteur doesn’t eat much, so with his leftover allowance he buys bottled water to give to the hobos and crackwhores who hang out at stoplights and show up at the ED dehydrated. I’d kind of forgotten that he did this.

‘Thank you, sweetness,’ she says.

‘Plan for coverage tonight, baby, it’s supposed to rain,’ I say as the light turns green and we drive off.


Blogger dan writes:

From all the stories I've heard from both cops and doctors about crackwhores, they seem to be a lovely, personable bunch. Perhaps I shall befriend a few.


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