I went in to see Shakey McShakerson again on Saturday. For those of you who haven’t been studying for the passing exam at the end of this blog, Shakey McShakerson is the fellow that runs the PET scans at my local hospital. He’s about as good with a needle as I am with a mider saw. The difference is that I don’t work in a mider saw for a living.
I don’t know why he shakes. I can only assume it’s a tick he’s had for awhile. Perhaps stabbing another human with a sharp needle makes him nervous, and makes him start to shake violently right as he’s about to put it in, and makes him inevitably miss the vein he was looking for, and makes him shoot the radioactive dye into your tendon, or your muscle, or your whatever, and makes him ask “does that burn?”, and makes you scream “YES.”
Maybe. Or maybe it’s something much more complicated than that. Maybe he’s been cooped up in that little semi-trailor behind the hospital for too long. Maybe he makes him think of the foxhole back in ‘Nam that he jumped in right before they put that steel plate in his head.
I’m just guessing now.
Anyway, I think he would have liked to have been a musician, rather than the PET scan operator in the semi-trailer at the back of the hospital. But more on that later.
His assistant came to the waiting room to bring me out to the trailor, like she always does. Except, this time, she looked different. Her clothes fit a little snugger. And her eyes seemed to have a dull film over them that hid the gleam they usually have. And that big rock as no longer on the ring finger of her left hand.
“Hi, nice to see you again. How’s things?” I said. I was digging. Right off the bench, I was swinging for the fences.
“Oh. Ok.” She replied.
“Just ok? That doesn’t sound convincing.” What? Was I expecting her to pour it out for me right there on the way to the trailer? That her fiance had cheated on her, or had become a jerk, or they moved in together and she found out he was a slob? Or worse, that he was dead, or ran away with his boyfriend? Or simply that they didn’t have anything in common?
She didn’t take the bait. Which I’m now sort of glad for. I mean, I got the story from Shakey later anyway.
Shakey was, I believe, happy to see me, and launched straight into the questions about where I was playing now, and how was that, and what kind of stuff to I play there, etc., etc., etc. I felt bad talking so much about myself whenever I go visit him, so I tried this time to ask how he was.
“Oh, can’t complain. Just…you know…can’t complain. We’re going around. Different places, you know. I’m, ah, getting my taxes together, you know how that is… Yeah… Can’t complain.”
He put the needle in, this time, without fanfare. I held my my free hand around my upper arm and squeezed my other fist good and hard, so that maybe a vein would stick out more and he could get it better. Without digging around this time. (I’m wincing as I write this, you should know.)
Maybe he shakes because he’s been doing this too long and he’s constantly subjected to the radioactive material that he’s shooting into us mice. I’m sure that they have a good deal of safety around him for the job, but if you’re around it, you’re around it, right?
Anyway, eventually they got me on the slab in the machine and took pictures of me, looking for cancer. I haven’t checked on the results, I’m sure it’s clean.
During the photos, though, Shakey actually came into the room and had a conversation with me. Shakey? Dude? Aren’t you supposed to be behind that big lead door over there? Away from the harmful rays? Why are we talking about the Olympics? Aren’t I supposed to remain absolutely still? Dude?
Anyway, he’s a good guy, regardless. On the way out I asked him about his assistants engagement ring. He said, yeah, she broke it off herself a couple months back, and hasn’t acted the same since. I bet there’s a sad story there. Poor girl.