While driving along Commonwealth at 9 pm Smoketh rang me up. Smoketh, as you readers remember (all three of you who were able to stick it out), can use the phone, read a novel, blog, and use a luffah while driving–all at the same time. She has apparently just completed her rounds and was rushing home, with the night drive her only time to chat with friends. She whined about our current state of affairs—young consultants starting their practice with the eagerness and desperation to recoup the losses of the past hellish years of training and getting deathly exhausted at the close of the day, sleeping with a broken heart, friendless, and socially dead. “Is this it? Will this forever be the pattern of our fucking lives?!” she screamed.
“Yes,” I said. “Oh yes!”
My conversations for the past months while trying to build a practice that doesn’t amount to a financial negative balance have been limited to talking to patients, most of the time apprising them of their prognosis coupled with the nasty business of telling them the cost of cancer treatment, which is usually preferable to the more frequent exchange with my secretaries, summarized as: Ay, wala na namang pasyente? Kailan nga ulit due yung rent ko? Last week?!?
Ang haba ng sentence. Ahahahahha.
We long for those nights when I would just bump into Frichmond in the hospital which meant instant beer drinking. Or when I could just talk to someone and use ten vulgar words involving bodily fluids, procedures, and illegal inhuman acts all in one sentence without fear of judgment. Or when I could just ask Tessieloopagooparoop in the middle of eating shawarma rice: Hey Tessieloopagooparoop, wanna fuck? To which she would nonchalantly reply, “No thanks!”
So now I guess this is it… this is really it. We have officially jumped into an alternate universe, or more accurately, jumped from an alternate universe into the real one.