I waited to see my doctor. A man sat to my right furiously tapping his leg. I gave him a sidelong glare as I turned over the pages of Vogue Traveller and read about the 25 reasons I should visit Dublin.
He continued tapping. I glanced to my left at a poster which asked clients not to bring a shopping list of problems but prioritise them to the top two due to time constraints. ‘Of course, it doesn’t make any difference’ the leg tapper said in a French accent. I looked at him cautiously in my by now slightly agitated state as he pointed at the poster. ‘Oh?’ ‘Yes, he spend the time to talk to you – I know him ten years now’. I studied the page. ‘Really?’ ‘Yes, but of course’. Then, ‘What do you do?’ ‘Em, I work in communications, and you?’ ‘I fix people’s computers for them – so if you have any problems you must call me’ he continued with a grin. ‘Here’s my email’. ‘Oh, you’re a Chevalier!’ I said, ‘Well that’s easy to remember’. ‘Yes, and my father was called Maurice!’ We laughed.
What is it about being just back from holiday that makes people so much keener to speak to you?
The doctor’s voice came over the loudspeaker: ‘Mr Jacques Chevalier, please. Mr Jacques Chevalier. Bonjour!’
As he emerged from seeing the Doc, Monsieur Chevalier said ‘He’s in a good mood today’. Having been irritated and stressed I was now looking forward to my visit with Doctor B.
‘Well, you’ve a slight infection in the ear canal – I’ll give you a spray for that’. We talked and he made me laugh – peppering the conversation with wise words. ‘Been spending much time vacationing in the old country – or is it France these days?’ I said. ‘What? Are you saying that because of my excellent pronunciation of the French language today?’ I told him about Jacques – ‘What was his opening line?’ he said as we both chuckled.
We discussed my priorities and Boris’ bicycles. ‘They look a bit heavy to me’ Doctor B said, ‘I agree… and sort of chunky’, ‘Yes, like a real old bone shaker’.
I said I was getting stressed about my age and he said ‘Well, a number seems a lot better when you look back on it – than when you see it coming up. I wouldn’t mind being your age at all now myself and, by the way, you look as young as you ever did’. This almost made me tearful. As I left I told him of my plans: ‘I wish you every success in achieving them, I’m sure you deserve it’ and ‘I’ll take a look into it’ referring to my blog.
At reception T gave me the next appointment. I told her about Jacques and his computer fixing: ‘That’s a great chat up line, isn’t it – I mean everyone’s got a computer! Well, he’s a nice looking man…what have you got to lose?!’
I left the surgery, lighter of heart than when I went in, reassured by the sharp wit and warmth I had experienced.