Once when given a choice while making an appointment for an orthopedic, I was asked by the receptionist, "Do you want to see the father or the son?" The two doctors practiced together. How sweet, I'd thought. Of course I wanted the father. I pictured a twenty-something-year-old son. However, when the old man hobbled in, I realized my mistake. The problem was with me, really. I didn't know I had gotten older. I've always felt more comfortable with a physician who is at least my age or a bit above, but that doesn't quite work anymore.
This was also Giovanna Boeri's experience, in Among the Zinnias:
“What have we here?” The young man said as Giovanna looked at the unfamiliar face and thought he might have been any one of the young people who came in the summer months to visit parents and grandparents.
He couldn't have been more than sixteen or seventeen, she thought. He was wearing jeans, a very wrinkled tee shirt and tennis shoes without socks. Certainly a white coat or at the very least, socks, would have added to his age.
“Where’s Doctor Michalina?” Giovanna asked as she pulled back from his hand that had rested on her shoulder, “She takes care of me.”
“She’s gone. Finished up last Wednesday. I’m Doctor Giovanni—call me Gianni.”
He smiled and held out his hand while the nurse pressed more gauze to Giovanna’s eyebrow.
When Giovanna ignored his extended hand, the young man looked at some papers that lay on the nearby counter.
“Well, look at that,” he said in a pitch he usually reserved for small children, “We have the same name—kind of.”
Giovanna did not respond.
Normally, she would have heard about the change in doctors. There wasn't much more news around the island other than the occasional wedding or birth and the not-so-occasional funeral as she lost one friend after another. But the gossip surrounding the medical center doctors was the most common because the doctors were outsiders, none had ever stayed permanently and it seemed socially safe to squawk on about them. But she’d been so occupied lately. She rarely got out alone anymore. Taking Pastore di Capre out was like taking a toddler who kept her from finishing a full sentence or hearing the ongoing conversation. She’d have to ask Maria about this new doctor.
Among the Zinnias, The Nifi, and Your Own Kind are available in ebook and paperback. And they're free if you have Kindle Unlimited. I hope you will give one of them a try!
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