Inspired. Inspired, and it's a Sunday. Like that automatically relates to logorhea at a time and place picked like a bingo bean. It's a memory piece about the time I had to get a gonad seen by a medical pro. Brand new to Pittsburgh one week in 1991, I woke in my brand new sleeping room rented for chump change in a flop house in South Oakland. So long ago, narrow, crooked Semple Street had a diverse ethnic entomology composed of row houses, apartment dumps, flop houses, and store front business as spare and cavernous as an an ant colony. Upon that waking from sleep in a brand new funhouse, it was to become evident that my left ball was swollen and was hurting like a motherfucker.
Not having established a primary care physician, a term that hadn't been invented yet, I was in a panic and had no idea how to begin the process of obtaining treatment for a sick friend inside a much regarded scrotum. There are hospitals all over the place in Oakland, in easy walking distance of my latest hovel, but it cost, even back then, a kings ransom to get a pimple squeezed inside a hospital. Man of the street, I learned long ago the cheapest way to get medical care is to snake it out.
I took to walking, down the hall, through the communal kitchen,down two flights of stairs to the street. It's the walk. The walk of urgency that fits like blinders on a junk dealers donkey . Imagine in this model that relief from testicular pain, and, as well, from the terror of all grimmest possibilities, like death from cancer of the balls, is a carrot on the stick in front of the burro's long determined face. It took several attempts to find an office with a doc's shingle that was taking new patients. But I found Doctor Flomm's office, and was able to get the ball treated with modern antibiotics, upon receiving great news. It was some sort of infection, totally treatable with some pills the good doctor had in his closet in a yellowing, moldering bowery-looking office. I jumped the gun, a little, in this discourse.
Semple Street was half a ladder wrung upscale from a bowery at the time my nut got festered. The office was store front below a shitty aparmtent building, charming like On the Waterfront. Upon entering I got a chill, and it was a hot day, because the eight or nine people seated in the narrow, grubby waiting room looked like either vagrants or other wise retired to a hovel, walking distance. This is the shit commonalities are made of.
Everyone looked afflicted, pained and dirt poor. Mother Teresa would have loved that waiting room. It took me a moment, standing in the door way, to decide what to do. One of the patients moaned assistance. "You gotta write your name on that tablet over there," he informed me, pointing to the tablet on a wooden ledge along a dispensing window, where a nurse might have been sitting, on a salad day. The booth behind the window was empty, and much in disarray, as if the billing department routes around in paper like a gerbil. I still wasn't convinced that this was really a doctor's office, and not an opium den or bookie joint. It was the real deal. Cutting to the chase, the doctor called me in after seeing everyone on the list, me last, last guy to come in, sick. Not that I really know, now, what was going on, but I'll venture this was a charitable drop-in center run by a very good doctor. He checked the situation down there and gave me some antibiotic pills, physicians samples, the keystone of cheap off the street medical care. That swollen, painful, infected testicle cost a gentle thirty five dollars to treat. Took the pills. They worked like a charm.
Back to sermonizing. ECT patients sometimes return to sermonizing, after about six months lag time, after having their organ of thought chicken fried. That has not been necessary, thanks, affirmations, for what appears to be mental health sufficient to eat and shit without they come and throw a net over me. I'm thankful on a secular basis for not getting strapped down for my own good. It is affirmative to be walking around in open space, at liberty to fritter time. Dr. Flomm made a great impression. He may have had had a stroke at some time, as he moved about like someone partially zapped, but he knew his gonads, and fixed one of mine. It was very affirmative. Affirmations.