Observations at the Clinic

I signed in on the clipboard at the clinic, rang the service bell and sat down across from an older gentleman. He studied me for a couple moments and finally stated, “Your hair is blue. Why?”

“I was born this way,” I replied in all seriousness.

His eyes squinted and he stared thoughtfully at the ceiling. “My grandson was born with webbed feet.” He paused for a moment. “We still love him.”

The nurse came at that moment and saved me from any further awkwardness.


After my physical therapy session I opened the main door to the clinic and turned right. A long, narrow hallway stretched ahead. It was the only way to exit the building. One other person occupied this hallway. From behind, he appeared to be in his seventies. Grossly obese. A dark, greasy patch of hair barely clung to his scalp. Liver spots and moles of various shapes and sizes sprinkled his skin. He carried a portable oxygen tank in his left hand, and a tube ran from the tank up to his face. Every step took enormous effort, and I knew this trek would take forever. I concentrated on his moles, trying to see if I could spot any constellations. With his labored breathing and my light steps, I was pretty sure he didn’t realize I was behind him, and that was fine. I didn’t want to trouble him or insist on squeezing by.

He clutched a little sandwich baggy in his right hand. I finally made out what was inside, and it made me smile: Lucky Charms cereal. I could make out the happy little marshmallow rainbows and stars. He was powered by these magically delicious tidbits. Eventually the journey ended and we both went our separate ways out the front door of the medical building. He glanced at me as I scuttled away and I kind of wished I looked like a leprechaun.



13 thoughts on “Observations at the Clinic

  1. This was a great story, Lauren. I could picture the puzzled look on the other person’s face as he tried to show his benevolence by resonating with your delightful blue hair and his grandson’s webbed feet. I also enjoyed your powers of observation and the way you connect your observations with a sharp wit and great sense of humor. I think a man in his condition who understands the power of Lucky Charms would know the value of meeting a Leprechaun or a Dragon Sister with a touch of blue in her hair. 😀

    • Thank you! Heh, he had exactly that puzzled look. He was looking up at the ceiling at first, like people tend to do when they’re thinking REALLY hard. As if to say, “C’mon, brain! Come up with something good for me to say!”

      I enjoy people watching. There’s always some interesting detail to observe which inspires me to write about something later. 🙂

      • I think people watching provides a powerful muse for you because your reports are very entertaining.

      • Glad to hear it! I’ve been making the “Observations” style posts every once and a while because people seem to enjoy them and there’s unlimited content as long as I leave the house.

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