Jeremy was confused. The doctor seemed to have no idea what was going on.
“I got the note, ” began Jeremy.
“Note?” responded the doctor, suddenly perplexed.
“About a contact,” he offered.
“Contact?” she responded. This was getting nowhere. Why wouldn’t they ever just come out and say what they meant?
“Yeah,” Jer stopped. Then swallowed. Was she doing this on purpose? It didn’t matter. “I think I have some kind of STD.” He held out the note.
“Wait a second,” said the doctor, putting on a pair of gloves. Jeremy, the unclean, sunk into the examination table while they snapped into place.
“Sorry,” she said, genuinely sorry about her timing. “Note to self,” she thought, “Put on gloves before asking about reason for visit if suspicious.” She took the note.
Jer watched as the doctor read the official stationary. He watched her perplexed look turned to consternation, then to interest, and then to amusement. She looked at him, then back to the note. She continued to stare at it. Then, slowly, she began to shudder, then shake, and just before she burst out laughing, her shoulders began to twitch and she raised a gloved hand to her mouth. But it was too late. Professional etiquette shattered as uncontrollable laughter erupted from her.
Jeremy was mortified.
Gaining a hold over herself, she looked at Jer, who was sitting on the examination table, wide-eyed and in complete confusion. His mouth was open. The sight made her burst out laughing again. Then, she suddenly fled the room.
Jer sat on the table, dumfounded. He could hear the doctor gradually regain her composure as she wandered down the hall. Presently, she came back, looking tight-jawed and shaking her head ever so slightly. She didn’t have the note.
He thought he could hear laughter down the hall.
“Whaaa … ?” Jer was saying, the full significance of his situation just beginning to dawn on him. This started the doctor laughing again, but she bit her cheek hard and choked it off.
“It’s not a real note, Jeremy,” the doctor said tenderly, “It’s a fake.”
“Yes, completely fake. I don’t think you have a STD at all.”
She let it sink in. Poor guy. He was turning different shades of confusion, embarrassment, relief, and rage. “Do you have any idea who may have done this?” she asked after a few more uncomfortable moments.
“No,” Jer said, lying the best he could. He knew damn well who did it.
There was another long silence as he stared past the doctor contemplating various forms of murder.
“I can still want me to check you out, if you want,” she suggested helpfully.
“No,” said Jer, getting off the table, “I don’t think that will be necessary.”
“Okay,” the doctor allowed. “But,” she said, nodding with her head and eyes in the general direction of his crotch, “Perhaps I should give you something for that Jock Itch; from what’s showing I think you better have something.”
Jer looked down: a bright red rash was visible on his right thigh where his shorts had hiked up from sitting on the exam table. “Okay,” he muttered pulling the shorts down over it, “I guess so.”
“Use this twice a day,” said the doctor, holding out a quickly scribbled prescription, “And remember, don’t irritate the area. And keep it dry.”
“Okay,” Jer repeated, snatching the prescription from the gloved hand and avoiding all eye contact, “Thanks.” Then he headed down the hall.
“Do you need a follow-up?” the student receptionist chirped brightly as he passed the intake desck.
“I don’t think so,” Jeremy said as he passed, still not making eye contact. He headed out the door and made a bow-legged beeline for the dorm. But not fast enough to not notice stifled laugher, coming from the Health Center, fading behind him.
[Continued next installment.]