Being sick has its advantages, you know, like seeing every week a playful twenty-six-year-old blue-eyed nurse. Lately I’ve made a habit of visiting the little clinic in my town to do blood tests, to exclude all infections before the doctors will let me do a lymph node biopsy. The idea was to do all tests – about eleven of them, including Epstein-Barr, Cytomegalovirus, Toxoplasmosis, Hepatitis, and the like – on the same day (about a month ago) but enter the aforesaid nurse into the waiting room, and my medical strategy underwent a radical change, so much so that I’ve been returning to the clinic for tests once or twice a week, doing only two or three at a time, under the pretext of waiting for the results first before doing the remaining tests.
I’m excited when she pricks me and I must admit that one Tuesday when she was not there, I mumbled an excuse and went home without doing any tests at all.
I suppose it all started when she asked me whether I finished college. Ahem, no, but I did not say that of course, but bragged with my literary pursuits. ‘I write stories in English,’ I said. This somewhat interested her, as it does most people. An agreeable conversation ensued, and then playful exchanges followed during our future encounters. Now whenever I step into the clinic I get the butterflies. And when she says, ‘Bonjour,’ I melt. And though at the clinic she wears eyeglasses, for a professional look, I remember seeing her on the street one day in August wearing red shoes and a fancy red dress, looking like an elegant, ultra-modern version of the Red Ridding Hood.
As much as I would like to deceive myself that she fancies me, I know that is not the case, that what she feels is a great deal of pity for my woeful fate. I have become exceedingly thin now and just about anyone I talk with gives me sympathetic looks. But cannot pity lead to a woman’s heart?
Her ringless hands hold a great promise, though. She is certainly not married. Perchance engaged, but then romantic conflict always makes the story better.
As much as I would like to, I cannot just wait for her one afternoon on the little bench outside the clinic with a bunch of roses and with my romantic intentions. After all, the negative results I’ve had so far push me little by little toward the cancer precipice. I doubt I’ll die anytime soon – it would be easy if peopled died so effortlessly.
What’s in store for me though are months and maybe years of moderate to intense suffering, something that I don’t have the right to share with anyone. I am resolved to stay alone until I get well again, or die. And yet, my overworked imagination likes to dream that maybe I had to become sick to meet a nurse and fall in love with her. After all, no sickness, no blue-eyed nurse. But maybe I try to find meaning where there’s none.
So roses are, alas, out of the question. But you know how painful unexpressed love thoughts are, how they consume you inside. I cannot speak to her and yet I would like to and then I fear she would laugh at me and then come regrets and to conclude, I’m in a sorry state.
To try to make sense of it all I started writing a story about a nurse and a blue-blooded boy, and I mentioned it to her, and since she reads books I proposed that I should give it to her, you know, as I way of telling her what I cannot. She did not say no.
Now help me out, will you?