Shantih Journal 2.1 - Page 26

specimen: the length of his eyebrows is beyond what the programming of society deems appropriate, on close examination his ears are not perfectly symmetrical, which might indicate poor genetics. He thinks there are probably many factors which would conclude that sex with him was being suboptimal mate selection. The worst socially factor of all being that his weight. He’s not obese by the standards of a normal person, but he is obese if you ask the doctor. And even all of these facts about his very being was hard for David to believe. He identifies with users of magic and pilots of giant robots. How could this be who he was? It was hard to accept, mostly because it didn’t seem fair. The doctor returns with an iPad and a stethoscope. The stethoscope’s cold under David’s shirt, enough to make him shiver. Yet, somehow, the confirmation of the doctor’s presence doesn’t make David feel any less alone, perhaps because the doctor types so much on his iPad. There is probably a percentage of time spent during a doctor’s visit where typing on an iPad no longer conveys a sense of careful note taking, but a form of neglect. David does not know what this percentage is. Perhaps the feeling of neglect comes from the matter-of-factness the doctor has about David’s condition: “Flu-like symptoms are, most likely, just the flu.” Maybe if it were something worse, something fatal, the doctor would think there was a scarcity of David; he’d find value in experiencing him as a patient and a person, and not just collect data in order to follow whatever synaptic flowchart has been compiled in his brain through years of medical school. “It’s going around.” “I need a refill of Phenobarbital,” David says as the doctor tries to usher him out the door. “Oh,” the doctor pulls out a prescription pad, “Have you been having any breakthrough seizures since we’ve increased the dose?” David is surprised the doctor remembers something about him.“No.” “You’ll be driving again in no time.” David wants to say that it doesn’t really matter, but thanks the doctor instead. He knows the game of the social contract a little. There had been a time when it wasn’t such a conscious thing to follow. He starts rubbing his neck again. 26