Last week I went to the doctor with Marion. His appointment was at 1:30 p.m. in Kansas City, which is about an hour's drive from my house. He knocked on my back door at 9:05 a.m. Ordinarily, I'd be really cranky about that, but given the circumstances I thought it best to remain positive. After all, Marion is going through life with 30% less fingers and he's still happy.
"Wanna see it?" he asked brightly, and whipped off his glove.
I tried to keep my expression neutral, and failed. "Oh, shit!" I said. "I mean, gosh, that doesn't look as bad as I thought it would."
He laughed. "Looks worse, doesn't it?" I was trying to think of a diplomatic answer to that question (yes, it really does look even worse than I expected) when he said, "Honestly, I'm kinda disappointed that you didn't faint at the sight of it and end up on the kitchen floor in your Hello Kitty pajamas again." (That's a reference to the accident in which I broke my collarbone, and I really was wearing HK jammies. I suspect I will never live that down.)
Then I put on some decent clothes and we walked all around my house, inside and out, and planned out everything we hope to accomplish on it this year. After that we tromped around an abandoned house that sits on the river bluff and pretended we had enough money to buy it and fix it up, then we ate lunch, and then we went to the doctor.
"Wanna go in with me?" Marion asked when we got there. I opted to sit in the waiting room instead, which turned out to be an excellent decision when fifteen minutes or so later he returned with a pained expression on his face and his right hand swathed in bandages.
"Remember when you were a little kid and your mom told you not to pick at scabs or it'd never heal? Well, she lied!" he said, standing there with his hand tucked inside his coat like Napoleon. "The doctor pulled every one of the scabs off my fingers and cleaned 'em all out."
All together now: ewwwww....
Marion has to go back to the doctor in a month. In the meantime, he's supposed to take antibiotics, flex his fingers, and do anything which doesn't cause him pain. On the way home, he told me that he thought we could sheetrock my bedroom ceiling in a couple of weeks. When I told him that I thought he might be pushing it and that he really ought to stop and think about that, he replied, "Between now and then I thought I'd work on making some tools that fit on the ends of my fingers. One of them could be a flat-head screwdriver, a Phillips-head, a magnet for nails and screws. When I get done, I'll have the Swiss Army knife of hands!"