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Scream

Make it fast. Please. There are a thousand places I’d rather be. And at least a dozen I still have to go to before sunset. So, please make it fast. Money is not an object. I’m not always in a hurry. You know. Usually well organized. Getting stuff done. Actually, I hate hurry. I could really live without the feeling of being hunted by to dos, haunted by deadlines, pushed around by expectations. But it seems almost as if my hating these things brings them on. Take this project, for instance. I didn’t want another chunk of deadlines and objectives and deliverables, and all the other infernalia. And when they called me, I was totally determined to turn them down. Obviously. I’ve had too much on my plate for ages. Can’t remember a vacation that was worth being called that. Sure, I’m traveling a lot, but thanks to technology it doesn’t matter where I am. Maybe the moon would be safe. Or Mars. But by the time I can travel there I suppose efficiency can, too.

You ask me how I sleep. What does that have to do with anything? All I need is something for pain. I thought I still had enough, but I ran out this morning. And since I’m here today, I can’t get it through my usual channels. Tell me, why do I even have to see a doctor about something so trivial. What kind of backwater place is this. You do know that there are online pharmacies I could get even stronger stuff delivered overnight. This is the age of efficiency, after all. Who ever heard they had to take a full examination just to get a frigging aspirin. This is ridiculous. This whole place is ridiculous. If it weren’t for the pain I’d just leave right now. Burning daylight is what we are doing here.

You insist hearing about my sleep. I need the meds. And I need to get on with things soon. So I tell you. What little there is to tell. I sleep ok, I suppose. If and when I sleep. Sleep’s been a bit of a luxury these past few years. I heard somewhere that some holy men in India or some such place live without sleep whatsoever. And they are perfectly healthy and get very old. Very old, indeed. So I figured, I’m living in the most advanced society the world has ever seen, what those hillbillies can do, I should be able to without much trouble. I don’t know what they do, but I found a good enough system, I suppose.

How much I sleep? Per week or per month? Well, on average I’d say I sleep a few hours. No, not per day. Per month. It’s not really sleep, either, I think. More like dozing off, napping if you will, for a few minutes every day or so. Tired? No, I wouldn’t say that. But it’s funny you should mention that. The best thing about the whole thing is that I don’t have jet lags anymore. I used to get them something fierce. Weeks of feeling like I had a constant monster hangover with each bloody trip I took. But since that has something to do with sleep, it’s gone now. Loving the productivity, too.

Stool? Look, can’t you just prescribe something? Anything? There must be something you can give me without all these embarrassing questions. There is such a thing as privacy, you know. You’re a doctor. I know. Confidentiality is part of the package and stuff. Of course. But this is embarrassing. I don’t know. I suppose I have so much to do all the time, I don’t pay attention to trivialities like that. So, I’m sorry, I can’t really tell you when and how often and how much and what color or texture or smell. Are you sure these are normal medical questions. No doctor has ever asked me anything like that. I find this highly irregular. Maybe I should have a word with your supervisor. You have a supervisor, no?

No, it’s alright. That would probably take too long, anyway. Let’s just get on with it. Judging from how this has been going so far I’m sure you have a lot more highly important and deeply embarrassing questions you need answers for in your forms in order to avoid getting trouble for prescribing an aspirin to someone with pain. So, go right ahead.

Smoke? Drink? Do I look or sound like someone who is stupid enough to poison themselves voluntarily like that. To be perfectly honest, you know, I’ve done a lot of that when I was younger and somewhat less busy? Those were the good days when you could get away with partying the whole week and then just hide in a dark and soundproof room until things stopped shaking and trembling and talking back? But that’s been so long ago, I am not even sure it’s something I have actually done or just read about or seen in a movie. Know what I mean? So, no poisons for this worker bee.

Food. Hmmm. I know this should be less embarrassing, but I really don’t have enough spare attention for maintenance. I’m sure I do eat and drink. Sometimes. But I don’t pay attention to it. So, sorry, can’t tell you anything more about that, either. But, you know what? I can say for sure that I’m not eating anything unhealthy. And I’m certainly not eating too much. Either would impede my efficiency and productivity, and I don’t know how I can be any clearer about that, but I loathe, absolutely despise, loss of productivity or diminished efficiency. The world today is so advanced in so many ways because we’ve been driving for efficiency for so long and so hard. Maximum output with minimum input. That’s value added, that’s what it’s all about. Marx had that right, he just drew the wrong conclusions.

Yes, I suppose you could say I’m living that to the hilt. Rolling stones gather no moss and all that. Standstill is retreat. You get the picture. Hmmm. You’re probably right. I might be a bit on the busy side. But you know, even with no sleep to speak of the day just doesn’t have enough hours. There’s almost so much more to get done. It’s almost like that, whatchamacallit, I heard about it somewhere. To do with entropy always increasing? Yes, thermodynamics and stuff. It sometimes does feel like a losing battle. But as long as I can stand or move or even only think, I’m not gonna give up. Not a quitter, me. No, ma’am.

Sex? Really, now. I’m appalled. What kind of doctor are you? Coming on to your patients like that. Is that even legal here? Back home you’d lose your license before you could even fully pronounce the word. Oh, you mean, do I have regular…now that is so definitely none of your business. I apologize for getting you wrong there and thinking you were coming on to me, but enough is enough. Nothing wrong with me in that department. All parts present and accounted for. And fully functional as far as I can tell, thank you very much.

I see. You need that to evaluate my overall state and stuff. Ok. To be perfectly honest, I have it whenever I feel like it. Never had problems getting some, if you catch my drift. Never had any complaints, either, except sometimes when it was too much, of course, you know. The last time? That is really not your business. I insist on my right to remain silent.

Right, you are not police. Ah, even if you were, there is no such right here, I see. Guess I’m lucky you’re not, then. Because I’m not going to answer that. After all, it’s not just about me. Wouldn’t want to compromise anyone. The gentleman enjoys and keeps quiet. Have always lived by that. No indiscretion has ever come back to haunt me.

Are we done yet? I notice you haven’t checked my vitals. Are you sure you’re a doctor? You’ve been asking all these irrelevant and irritating questions, but haven’t even checked my blood pressure. You are practicing an interesting kind of medicine in these parts, I have to give you that. I mean, your caution is honorable. Don’t get me wrong. Don’t want a malpractice suit for giving someone the wrong painkiller. Goodness no. But even here you must have some legal stuff you can give me. You must have determined by now that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with me. All I have is some pain. Even if it is the most excruciating pain imaginable.

Do I know what phantom pain is? Are you suggesting that my pain is not real? Listen, this is my pain, and I can tell you that it doesn’t get any more real than this. Ah, you mean the other phantom pain. The one where people feel pain in severed limbs, in the parts that are no longer there? Right. But what does that have to do with me? I’m hurting virtually everywhere. And as far as I know I’ve never lost more than hair and nails.

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