The doctor says, “Let me research it and get back to you.”
Code for I have no idea how to make you feel better. I have not lost my mind. Do no harm is supposed to be their motto. Her assistant says, “That’s interesting” as I describe the pain in my urethral meatus. I had to tell both the doctor and her blithe assistant that it’s protocol to numb the urethra for five minutes before insertion of the catheter.
Time to set sail. No more prowling around the house before the sparrows and the overfed cats stir, crying, Whoa is me. Thumbnail the specialist’s number. Dial them on a black rotary phone like the one in your mother’s house when you got the news that June day.
My father hanged himself. I was fifteen.
Pop a peppermint on my tongue, push it around until the sweet oil sooths my pill-dried mouth. Look up Picasso’s jaunty bronze goat.
See what art made.
*mid-13c., from Old French solstice (13c), from Latin solstitium “point at which the sun seems to stand still.” www.etymonline.com