"The Treatment"
The Treatment - Chapter One
The Treatment Chapter One

“All done” she said. "Really? It seems like you just got started", I replied impatiently.

I had waited for this day most of my adult life, and written it off as hopeless a decade earlier. What would it be like? How would I feel? But now..... nothing. I feel the same as I did 20 minutes ago, a little blurry eyed maybe, but it was only 9am and coffee was a ritual of the past, not the present. I guess I was expecting vigor and enthusiasm, but here I sit in the same drab suburban Med-Clinic I have visited a hundred other times. I suppose this time actually would be different, even if it didn’t feel that way now.

The ComRail home was uneventful. I prefer the city from ground-level rather than zooming above it in a transport, and the view has finally improved the past few years. I remember when utility gear dotted every visible corner of life. Traffic lights, video cables, fiber optic lines, electricity transformers, and God knows what else, were all strung out in plain sight like they belonged there. Removing those "improvements" had taken decades.... yet here I am “all done” in less than half-an-hour. Well, maybe not “all done”, I have a lot of physical decay to repair after 89 years, two marriages and a life of work, stress and loss. It took a long time to get this way, I guess it’s a little crazy to expect results right away. Medical science got me this far, maybe it can take me further?

Stop No. 44 of the “ComRail Blue Line” is only 50 yards from my front door. During a rush I would have had to wait through the two dozen stops between home and the Med-Clinic, but it was just me and some teenage kid riding this morning. I guess he gets off further down the line? Thanks to the Wireless ID "WIID" tag embedded in my skull, and my route preferences on the Web, I’m back at No. 44 less than an hour after I began. I greatly enjoy skipping pointless stops at empty stations. Of course that hour included the 20 minute wait in the Med-Clinic lobby. Waiting on medical services will never change, must be something they teach?

Joanna is suppose to stop by later this morning, but it will be another hour before she arrives. “Janna” as I call her, is the daughter of my brother's son James and the closest I have to family. The rest are either long dead, or completely impervious to the needs of a forgotten old relative. But Janna knew, and I suspect arranged, my plans today. Her request to stop by and visit "her favorite great uncle" came only hours after I received news that my appointment for The Treatment had been arranged. Her treatment was given shortly after her fifteenth birthday, as they all are these days, but an old man like me is often pushed back until it's to late. Maybe Janna will fess-up to her handiwork, or at least have some insights about this unexpected adjustment to an appointment that is seldom kept.

Janna is about 24 and looks like something envisioned by Botticelli. Tall, long red hair and a confidence that comes from being just as smart as she is beautiful. I have learned to say, “Don’t you look wise today” rather than saying “pretty”. She has scolded me more than once that her Masters Degree and two Doctorate degrees took a lot of effort and she would rather I notice “smart” than “pretty”. That’s difficult enough for me, her great “old“ uncle, I can’t imagine what the men her age endure.



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