I swear that they keep you waiting on purpose. Every time I go to the doctor – and my visits have been more frequent in recent years – I’m left sitting on that squishy bench for what feels like years, left alone with whatever ache or ailment dragged me in there. The rooms are the same no matter who I’m seeing, portals into the beige dimension that offer no stimulation save for peeling plastic posters slapped against wallpaper almost maddening in its blandness. Sore knees and persistent heartburn are nothing in the face of an all-encompassing boredom that becomes suffocating in a matter of minutes. By the time the doctor arrives, all I want to do is escape. So I downplay symptoms and illnesses. I nod along to whatever advice he or she drones out. I scurry away clutching a prescription that I know will merely buy me some time before I force myself back, before I’m again run through a demeaning cycle created by my impatience and cowardice.
What I’m expe