Since that fateful day that I began baring my innermost soul in Ocular Fusion, the reader need only refer to my rambling, incoherent posts and personal blog profile to uncover some of the more sordid details of my life.
One personal feature that is not apparent, however, is what I look like. I figured at first that keeping my face concealed would add a sort of J.D. Salinger style mystique that would be good for business. But an incident at work last week convinced me that, for better or worse, I need to uveil my mug to the world.
I look like Larry.
Or so said one of my patients last week when I sat down to begin his exam. At first I thought, ‘Larry, Larry…Larry who? Is this a mutual aquaintance, the janitor perhaps, or maybe the guy who fries up all that tasty fish across the street at Captain D’s?’
Noticing my confusion, my patient said, “You know…Larry!”
Oh, that Larry.
How apropos, I thought. Larry was usually the straight man, the sole sane stooge amid all the mayhem. Here I am, the veritable Voice of Reason, rising above the seesaw fray that is the blogosphere. Yes, Larry indeed!
My patient interrupted my hopeful reverie. “It’s the receding hairline and all the bushy curls in back,” he explained.
At that moment, I felt as if Moe himself had hauled off and slapped me in the face.
Now this is a variation of a scene that occurs with regularity when I examine a patient who hasn’t seen me in a while. Many times there is no brake pedal between the thought that forms and the words that spew. Their greeting often goes something like this: “Hey doc, good to see ya! Ya know, it looks like you’ve put on a few pounds since the last time I saw you.”
In those situations, there is usually a vast gulf between what I’m thinking and what I actually say.
What I’m thinking: ‘Now there sits a 350 pound pot calling the kettle black. I know my mama taught me to greet people I haven’t seen in a long time that way! The fact of the matter is that I weigh exactly the same as I did 5 years ago. Yes, I’m a little wider maybe, but that’s from the 3 times a week at the gym. Haven’t you ever heard of Cybex? No, probably not. In any case, how could you know what I possibly look like, you’re blinder than a bat, you old crusty coot!’
What I actually say: “Well, hello there Mr. Smith, it’s so nice to see you too.”
Actually, now that I’ve had some time to get used to the idea, looking like Larry may not be such a bad deal. After all, if I can occasionally make some of you laugh like Larry does, then I guess I couldn’t really complain.