Monday, January 16, 2012

In the Waiting Room

View from the window of the clinic. Bukhara restaurant is directly across the street.
From Journal #51
Monday, March 1, 2010

1:18—In the Ditmas Medical Clinic on Coney Island Avenue—in the waiting room. I decided to try and see Dr. Gujjar today—I'm overdue for a visit, and I want to ask him about my back. I could be here for two hours or more, easily: the usual "walk-in" system is really the only way you can make an appointment, unless you want to wait for three months. You walk in, say hello, and sit down and wait. I like Dr. Gujjar—he's friendly, down to earth, and not pretentious or arrogant like many doctors. The staff is also very nice. Everyone in here—the doctors, the staff, and all the patients (except for one), appear to be either Indian or Pakistani (or possibly Bengali, Afghani, or Turkish, who knows?).  The waiting room is pretty small—maybe 20 seats—and the front window looks out onto Coney Island Avenue. A television is bolted onto the wall about 8 ft. high (so you can't turn it off!)—loud volume—tuned to CNN. No one is paying any attention to it except me: they just announced that some Republican creep is preventing the extension of unemployment benefits that would have continued until June! Rep. Jim Bunning—wait—could that possibly be Jim Bunning the major league pitcher? I think it is! Jesus! I used to have his baseball card way back in the 1950's—I think he struck out Ted Williams three times in one game...

1:48—Weird kind of poisonous headache. Number 51 cranks on, and hopefully will be coming to a merciful conclusion sometime later this week.

2:04—Staring listlessly out onto Coney Island Avenue: my eye is drawn to the strange facade of the Bukhara restaurant across the street—it looks like it could be an old movie palace…exotic somehow…unusual…I don't even know if Dr. Gujjar is in yet—he might not looks like they're demolishing the building next to the Bukhara: another strange edifice—it looks almost Moorish.

2:54—Tortured by CNN: nothing but “terror” reports and pharmaceutical ads—relentless—pure, God-damn propaganda:
  • Lipitor commercial
  • Allstate commercial
  • Killer-whale "tragedy" story
  • "Smart people are putting their money in gold—where its safe!" commercial (!)
  • Meineke Muffler commercial
  • “Security Watch”: Special Investigations Unit 
That's right: terrorize us and then sell us expensive drugs to calm us down! Then Rove! Carl Rove actually appeared onscreen yapping some lies out of his obscene mouth. Too much—hysterical! Where is Dr. Gujjar? Maybe he's not even in today… "Unemployment story coming up next—stay tuned!" Of course I’ll stay tuned—the television is bolted to the wall and it's too high up in the air to reach and shut off!
3:09—I feel compelled to stand up in front of everyone in the waiting room and denounce CNN! What do they think of all this? Are they angry about the drone bombings in Pakistan? Are they apathetic? Are they frightened? I’m not certain that anyone even speaks English—they might not understand me—and even if they did, they might disagree with me—they might even be Republicans, for all I know. It would cause a disturbance and I could be kicked out of the clinic. Maybe I should try to strike up a conversation with someone...

3:11—Why do they have CNN on in the first place? The back is tightening up again. The mystery of Coney Island Avenue continues to unfold outside the window.

No comments:

Post a Comment