Playing Doctor

a small sketch, drawn from life

By Tragic Rabbit



Chronic ills; doctor bills.


Pass this cup, your plate. A meal to sate.


Menu, sir? You simply must try the second opinion, yes, and do have another specialist. A tasty dish. Do, yes, take another. There are plenty more.


Pass the Plate. Is it for the needy? Don't be greedy.


Prognosis follows diagnosis follows prognosis follows…and don't the years just fly on by? You have your tasty favorites: let's schedule surgery and order more prescription pads. Latin phrases, Greek to me: diagnosis and prognosis. Words to live by, or so it seems.  Words to lie with, to lie down with; to whisper, when we're all tucked in at night. Shhhhh, speak softly. These Words. These words are power. Powerful, oh yes. They drive off the faithful, the family, the friends. Eventually. They are bright swords from Heaven. St. Michael, you old Dragonslayer.  Bite your tongue.


Words, words, and words. These are words that will love you until you are old.


Have you ever heard the saying, 'there are no words to express', 'no words to tell you'? There are no words. Remember that. It's a matter of perspective.  Keep your perspective. Keep your counsel. Bite your tongue.


Wait, wait, don’t go, I promise, it’s a just a game! It won't take long. Please, please stay.


Let’s pretend…


That you are a Sailor and I am the Sea.


No…wait, I know. Let us smile at the sun and play doctor. Yes, let's. We have so much time, so much time left to run.


Yes, we have days, days forever and one. Let us Play Doctor, oh! Have we already begun?


You are the Sailor and I am the Sea. No, wait. Wait. Please wait. They have whole rooms for Waiting: why don't you have a seat. Please…wait, wait and see.


I am the Doctor; the Doctor is me.


A Day In The Life is an arc on a graph. Does it tickle, make you laugh? Pity the Fool…give him tuppence times two.


Perhaps the Doctor is you.


Let's pretend…


Examination. Room.  Fees due prior to service or release.


No Exit.  Hell.  Hell is a small room with your friends: Dr. Me, Dr. She; Dr. Moe, Dr. Know. Share. Bare. Bare yourself, bare your soul, tell them, tell them, tell them. Tell them where it hurts.




Pain. She shivers and moves through my body, a snake slithering just under the skin. Not to fear, I know her well. Her name is Waking and she lives inside me always.  Pain not worth mentioning.  Wish I hadda nickel for every time…


At last, near the end, they blur together; these years and years and years of doctors, doctors, a moving mental stream of jargon. Care to swim? Try downstream, it's by far the easiest. Pain. Yes, but relative pain. Is it better or worse? Immune response-disease-immune response-disease-immune response-disease. Problems lie in wait like panthers, crouched to spring. Symptoms come and go like flies. Open wide, let me see.


This will only take a minute. They promise. What you don't realize is: that Minute is All. You. Have.


Hospitals are all much the same.


Waking up, you find a room that opens doors (in the mind) to rooms woken up in, rooms woken up in, rooms woken up…drip, drip. The IV makes you itch. The catheter…not worth discussing. You assess your parts, your Self: what is its status? what is its state? Anesthesia is a state of mind… wherein you float away to leave the sharper cutting to professionals. You awake, sudden, flopped like a fish, in post-op rooms: white on white like an illusion. Mirror upon mirror upon mirror, the rooms reflect into infinity.


Things, things stuck in you, pins and needles, sharps, sharps, sharps. No use complaining. Dry mouth, raw brain, bins to vomit in.  The room moves slowly westward. Try not to speak, to think. Triumph of the Will. Hush, lie still. Open, swallow. Hush now. How is it that nurses look but never see? Are their eyes addled?


No, but you have slowly (gradually) turned sidewise and become Invisible. You are Claude Rains! Why, you're hardly there at all. You disappear into your own diagnosis. Sickness is seldom a welcome guest. Is this your party piece?


An empty bladder is a thing of joy. You close your eyes; the ceiling grows tiresome. You await His (any second) Coming.


Ah, look, He is here!


What is the problem of the day? Have you brought your credit cards? Have you brought your many lists? Lists, lists. Meditations on medications, surgeries previous, doctors devious. We must have a name, give us a name.


I name you…Doctor. Shall we play?




The most common greeting in my country is a lie.  After the Hello, the ‘Hi’, the ‘Ola, Buenos Dias, the Ave Caesars: we always say, we always say, we always say….yes, can you guess?


How. Are. You. (Question, mark, optional)


But it’s only Lies. Don’t let it trick you, no treat if Truth replies. There is but one response. Rote and repetition, like a Mass, a mass equation, and that’s all. Be a good Catholic. Thus must you say, you must say, forever say…


I. Am. Fine.


Did you get that? You are 'fine', you are dandy, you are great, you are good. Really, really good. Hey!


It's only lies.  It doesn't hurt.  Cries and lies. It isn't as if words can kill you, my pet, my only petal, my dearest one.


Whispers in the Dark. He was so young, a tragedy, he was so young. Ladies and Gentlemen, please be seated.




Here is an historical romantical and comical…


Tragedie in Three.


Acts, that is. Birth, Life, Death. All attended to by Doctor.


Act. Surprised when the hero dies. 


Hey, you, why don't you say something! What, you think I'm talking to hear my Self?


Shut the door and listen. Shut the door, shut the door, yes please! Shut the door.


Yes. Yes.


Please Shut the Door.


Say, would you like to play? Let's pretend…


Let's pretend…


Yes, let's pretend…


That you are a Sailor and I am the Sea.










Playing Doctor is a TR short sketch, drawn from life, and belongs to him by right and statute. Please don't copy. Though sometimes unconventional, all wordplay is intentional.


                                 If you enjoyed this offering, please do let TR know:






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