WAITERS

Drawing people in doctors' waiting rooms is a dicey proposition. First of all, you have to assume that most of them are there because they're suffering from one or more of the whatchamacallits that the flesh is heir to. And second of all, they've probably been there for way longer than anyone should have to wait for anything, that being the prevailing opinion in the medical profession on how to treat suffering and ill-tempered patients, who are nothing but a fucking pain in the neck to said professionals, who would be perfectly content to take their patients' insurance information and shove them out the door, for as we all know time heals more maladies than the intervention of surly germ-laden half-trained medical professionals. So by the time they're into their second hour of spreading their ample rears (which is not a risky generalization at all, this being Norfolk, Virginia) on horrible plastic chairs that must have been purchased at Big Lots, these people are Ready To Blow. Unfortunately for the artist, when confronted with the choice of leafing through a six-month-old issue of Urology Today or sketching homicidal artist-hating maniacs, he (or she, although since I'm talking about myself, the "or she" doesn't apply, and I can't make this point too strongly, despite the derisive jeers of my detractors) must screw his (or her, with the aforementioned qualifications) courage to the sticking-post (and have any of you actually seen a sticking-post? Maybe Dr. Research could start earning his commission and enlighten us on this topic) and take up the Pen of Truth and Justice and start drawing, well aware that at any moment his (or her, see earlier parenthetical asides) subject may stride across the room and poke him (or her, ditto) in the schnozz. Which is an event that I have devoted much of my adult life to avoiding. Perhaps, though, my lower-back pain ("That's not your lower back," said the rude nurse, "that's your butt." I retorted, "Well, I'm not going to come in here and complain of butt pain! I have enough issues as it is.") has clouded my good sense and led me to expose myself to the possibility of a spontaneous schnozz-poking, although after all I would be right here at the doctor's office, and maybe they'd see me writhing in a pool of my own blood and vomit (the sight of blood sickens me) and urine (the sight of my blood scares me),and let me be seen sooner. But probably not.