Saturday, March 26, 2011

Walking Stories V

In Which I am Brave
She gulped and walked a little faster, then slowed down abrubtly. It wouldn't be good to show up out of breath. She rehearsed her first phrase, "Bonjour, j'ai un rendez-vous avec Docteur..." She froze, then dug out her planner. What was the doctor's name? Jamin. So the "in" would be the nasal vowel, making the "n" silent. Ok.

She looked up at the house number on her right, 65. Still a ways to go. But on the left? 96. She retraced her steps and read the plaque at number 90. Docteur Bernard Jamin, Maladies des Yeux, Diseases of the Eyes. Her heart pounded in her ears.

She had been mistaken. She wasn't going to go up, ask and possibly cancel the appointment with apologies for being a stupid young foreigner who hadn't understood what the docteur did. Her mind went back to the previous evening.

"Maybe I'll cancel and just wait six months until your new job insurance kicks in." She forked a farfalle noodle.

"No. Go and get it taken care of." He served himself more pasta salad, then raised his eyebrows at her. "Ok?"

She started walking up the stairs to the docteur's office. She should have taken the out the baby gave her. He was teething and had woken up with a small fever. She left the babysitter with two bottles of juice, water and homeopathics. They'd be fine for an hour or two, but she could have used the excuse to get out of this.

She calmed a little bit talking with the receptionist. She had worked the front desk of a dental clinic. The plaque of the waiting room said, Ophtamologie. It would be ok. She sat reading her book in the silence. At 3pm, she was the doctor's first patient after lunch.

A distingued man with salt and pepper hair, a beige sweater draped over his sweater crossed the waiting room. "Bonjour, vous me suivez, Good day, you follow me," he said in passing.

"C'est pourquoi? What is it for?" She tried to answer is rapidly fired questions on her address, phone number etc. She dug in her bag to get out her insurance card when he asked the prescription of her contacts. So she dropped the card to get them. So far she was understanding everything; nothing was worse than admitting to not having understood a muttered phrase.

"Regardez en l'air. Look into the air." He pinched the contacts right out of her eyes. She tried not to blink in surprise. Two lines of letters read, two or three lenses placed in front of funny glasses barely balancing on her nose and he scribbled some notes.

"Vous n'avez pas envie de changer les lunettes, non? You didn't want to change your glasses, did you?"

Si. He took one more measurements, she wrote a check for fifty euros. In fifteen minutes, the visit is over and she walks out, prescriptions for contacts and glasses in hand.

On the street, she gulped deep breaths of palmy spring air. Quelle soulagement!! What a relief!! Maybe doing hard things is worth it for this feeling of légèreté, lightness. Why was she so nervous in the first place? Would she remember this the next time she was afraid to do something? And...why was the stupid visit so expensive?


  1. You have nothing to fear but fear itself!
    So proud of you!

  2. Does it make you a junky to do things you are scared of just for the thrill afterwards?