by Vanessa Newman
“It’s all about perspective,” said Dr. Reed to the well-groomed woman sitting poised in front of him.
“That is your best medical opinion?” she responded without the emotion this statement deserved. “Last week mother bought sandals and insisted that she was traipsing around Greece. She would only eat stuffed grape leaves and wanted me to call her Athena.”
“Was she happy and content?” Dr. Reed asked.
“Yes. But her life is not based in reality,” Mallory insisted. “Several months ago, new penny loafers meant sitting on park benches, writing poetry and talking to strangers about prose.”
“And was there an incident?” Doctor asked.
“She is not in her right mind,” Mallory clipped. “I know she’s 82 with dementia. Shouldn’t you be prescribing more medications for mother?”
“Perhaps she is having experiences beyond our rational mind’s ability to comprehend. She has been going on walkabouts after footwear purchases for years. And she seems peaceful; almost enlightened.”
“I’m not sure that you are the type of Doctor that can handle her condition,” Mallory interrupted. “You do remember the ski boot incident,” Mallory chided.
Dr. Reed chuckled, “Oh yes. I do believe her arm has healed completely.”
“Just tell me what pill to give her or about institutions. I’m not sure she is getting the best medical attention from you.”
“Mallory, your mother is living with you and I can’t decide for you what to do.” Dr. Reed paused. “However, it’s my heartfelt view that you….really…. need to buy new shoes.”
Chelsea: Too often with the sick, all we want to do is diagnose and treat and put ‘em in facilities and all they want is a new pair of shoes. Just give it to em. That appealed to me.
Wayd: I liked the entire story and that it created that much of a world just with only dialog. I also like that message of ‘Who are we to judge?’ If you’re not harming yourself or anybody else, then let people be nuts.
Josh: This story managed to pack a lot of heart into a small package, showing that there is a world that exists beyond the first and last words of this slice of life. And it did so with a fun comic twist at the end.