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Loosely Literal: Dr. Kafka Will See You Now

Posted on Wed, Sep 14 2016 9:00 am by Sally Franson

 

PATIENT: Doctor, help! I think I broke my ankle!
EMILY DICKINSON: (stares out the window)
PATIENT: Hello?
EMILY DICKINSON: I could not prove the years had feet.
PATIENT: Should I...take my bandage off? Or...
EMILY DICKINSON: Feet stagger -- feathers float -- hope -- drifts --
PATIENT: Now that you mention it, I am hoping for some Vicodin.
EMILY DICKINSON: The element of blank --

***

PATIENT: Doctor, help! I think I broke my ankle!
AYN RAND: Pain is not your enemy.
PATIENT: I dunno, about that. This guy hurts real badly.
AYN RAND: Mediocrity is your enemy.
PATIENT: See, it’s all swollen. Are you saying it’s my fault?
AYN RAND: That’ll be all for today. 75 thousand dollars please.
PATIENT: You haven’t even examined me!
AYN RAND: We don’t take health insurance.

***

PATIENT: Doctor, help! I think I broke my ankle!
KAFKA: (lies facedown on examination table)
PATIENT: I thought that was my spot.
KAFKA: mmmppphhhh
PATIENT: I could understand you better if you rolled onto your back.
KAFKA: (rolls onto his back) I said I’ll never be understood!
PATIENT: See, isn’t that better?

***

PATIENT: Doctor, help! I think I broke my ankle!
J.D. SALINGER: Everything’s broken. It’s a crummy world we live in. Makes me sick, all these phonies and morons and dopes running around with their spiritual bankruptcy. It’s enough to drive a person to the loony bin.
PATIENT: I didn’t think cigarettes were allowed in the doctor’s office.
J.D. SALINGER: Of course no moron thinks he’s a moron.
PATIENT: Your hands are shaking, let me help. Did you just call me a moron?
J.D. SALINGER: You broke your ankle, didn’t you?

***

PATIENT: Doctor, help! I think I broke my ankle!
SYLVIA PLATH: Wonderful to meet you! Let’s take a look at that ankle, shall we?
PATIENT: (unwraps ace bandage)
SYLVIA PLATH: Oh, God. Oh God.
PATIENT: Is something wrong?
SYLVIA PLATH: Such pain --
PATIENT: I told the nurse it was about a five.
SYLVIA PLATH: Such loneliness --
PATIENT: I mean, a lot of people were at that trampoline park.
SYLVIA PLATH: (weeps uncontrollably)
PATIENT: Do you -- want a Kleenex?

***

PATIENT: Doctor, help! I think I broke my ankle!
ERNEST HEMINGWAY: The world breaks everyone.
PATIENT: Ow. Careful.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY: Ah, yes. Most people cannot stand their own pain.
PATIENT: What do you think you’re doing? What the hell is --
ERNEST HEMINGWAY: I hunted jungle cats in Africa with this saw.
PATIENT: Listen, I don’t think you -- WebMD said I just need a splint --
ERNEST HEMINGWAY: (takes a swig from a jug of red wine) Here, have some. You’ll need it.
PATIENT: Wait, stop! I want a second opinion!

***

PATIENT: Doctor, help! I think I broke my ankle!
JACK KEROUAC: Here, take one of these.
PATIENT: What is it?
JACK KEROUAC: Good stuff. Real good stuff.
(hours pass)
PATIENT: I feel funny.
JACK KEROUAC: How’s your ankle?
PATIENT: Better, I think. (stands up, falls to the ground)

***

PATIENT: Doctor, help! I think I broke my ankle!
JOYCE CAROL OATES: Give me one minute.
PATIENT: I’ve already waited thirty minutes.
JOYCE CAROL OATES: Almost...done…
PATIENT: Maybe I could get X-rays while you’re --
JOYCE CAROL OATES: And...there we go! (sound of printer warming up)
PATIENT: Did you write a novel while I was sitting here waiting?
JOYCE CAROL OATES: No. That’s absurd.
PATIENT: Then what’re all those papers coming out of the printer?
JOYCE CAROL OATES: ...business.
PATIENT: What business?
JOYCE CAROL OATES: ...medical...business... (grabs sheaf of paper, sprints out of room)


Sally Franson received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and was a 2012 GRPP Fellow. Her work has recently appeared in WitnessRoomelimae, and Bartleby Snopes, among others, and she was the winner of the Loft’s Fall Writing Contest in 2012. She is also a recipient of a 2014 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. In addition to teaching and finishing her first book, Sally is a contributing writer toThe Fiddleback and Paper Dartssallyfranson.com