4.2 Fall 2022

October 7, F(r)ee

I visited the local dermatologist for my next shot. A month prior I tried to pop something on my forehead I absolutely shouldn’t have and ended up with an angry red infection and then swollen scar tissue.

The receptionist, a sweet former high school teacher with excellent English, led me to the now familiar office and translated while the doctor gently poked at my face.

“The bump is small now and another injection won’t do much. I think it’ll disappear on its own,” she translated for him.

Aww. Well I guess I’ll have to just wait.

There was a short discussion between the two while I sat on the spinning stool next to his big desk. I guessed the gist of it but didn’t want to make any assumptions.

The deliberation concluded and my translator explained. “He said you don’t have to worry about paying for today.”

Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, I gave profuse thanks and made my way out.

America would never, I thought incredulously, still in a state of shocked awe that a city doctor would waive his own consult fee.

With such generosity, I wanted to be a repeat customer.

Maybe I can go back to get a mole removed or something?

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