Doctor Pearl

doctor pearl


Pearl is Partner’s sister, who lives about forty miles north of us, in a suburb of Boston. She is a very Technicolor person. She is short and pugnacious, and she always lets you know what she thinks about everything. She has occasionally smacked me in the back of the head when she can’t stand listening to my nonsense anymore. “Jesus Christ!” she yelled at partner. “How the hell can you stand to listen to his goddamned babbling all day long?”

Pearl has been very supportive during these early days of my diagnosis and treatment. This summer, when I was first telling her that I had a strange pain in my throat and was having it checked out, her advice was: “Don’t ask for trouble. If you go to a doctor, they’ll just tell you it’s something serious. You probably don’t want to know.”

“But what if it really is something serious?” I said.

“Then you especially don’t want to know,” she said.

She has a point. Not knowing is much more peaceful. Knowing is a little upsetting.

After my diagnosis, however, she became very pragmatic. When I told her I was having a feeding tube put into my midsection, she was very thoughtful. “How big?” she said.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Small, I assume.”

“Big enough to fit a meatball through?” she said hopefully. “Meatballs are good for you.”

“Maybe liquefied,” I said.

I love Pearl. I know that she wants me to get well, which is best of all. And her best medical advice came in the form of a threat: “If you don’t fight this,” she said in her tough Massachusetts voice, “I will come down there to Rhode Island and goddamn kill you.”

And she means it.

So I’d better goddamned well survive.


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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

3 Responses to Doctor Pearl

  1. starproms says:

    She sounds like a very formidable lady. I remember reading about her before on your blog. You need all sorts of help right now, from the downright direct, like Pearl, to the softer sort of comments that you’ll get from me. Keep strong.

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