the tale of freak girl

This weekend was planned years ago. When I graduated from college I knew that five years later I’d return to romp around in the fields and grounds of my silly youth. It’s reunions weekend, sort of. You see I went to school for 5 years because I got my Masters so this complicates things. The people I started school with, the ones who only took 4 years and got Bachelor degrees graduated a year before me. So, that reunion was last year and I didn’t go because none of my old friends or even old acquaintances went and I’m not going solo back to a reunion. So, officially I thought I’d go to this year’s reunion with my younger sorority sisters whom I adore. And I know that mentioning that I was in a sorority is so, well, sorority, but I love my sisters and yes I think it’s strange that I call my friends, sisters. Nonetheless, a weekend in the old srat house was planned. And then…I got sick.

I’m not good with sickness. I whine. I complain. I take a lot of naps. When I woke up yesterday with no voice I went to work anyway and after a day of snapping and clapping at kids I decided to give my voice another day and head out of town on Saturday. Then I woke up with my throat on fire, no voice, and feeling like crap. I decided to just chill and get on the road when I felt better. Then I took a 3-hour nap. When I awoke I knew that the doctor was calling. So, to the doctor I went which meant there would be a long wait. I entered at 4:45pm and left at 7:02pm.

Just signed in ahead of me was a boy named Jason. Jason was cute and walking a bit strange. He had dark brown hair, a ratty t-shirt, and khakis. He was preppy and slender and hot. When he tried to sit down he had to ease into his chair, his back straight. I considered his symptoms and his possible ailments. Maybe he had a wild night last night and since he was alone this meant his lover did not love him enough and thus I could clearly step in to render his back and life complete. Then he was called into the secretary’s office and through the class divider as he stood and handed her his insurance card I saw the flash of silver, a wedding ring on this left hand. Well there goes the Vera Wang dress I was planning.

I sat waiting and waiting and waiting and was distracted by a precious little girl running around with her grandparents. She was wearing a pink t-shirt and a pull-up. I wanted to tell her grandparents to clothe the child. Her grandfather sought help from the receptionist and came back with crayons and coloring paper. The little one went through paper after paper. She must have been only 2 years old and nothing kept her attention. She then ran after her grandmother when she was called in to see the doctor.

Boredom crept into the waiting room again and then a girl slightly younger than me walked in and asked the receptionist if she could be seen without her insurance card. She was denied so she grabbed her black purse off the counter and stormed out. She returned about 10 minutes later. I was still waiting. She signed in and took a seat across from me, next to the crayons and paper left by the little girl. She picked them up, rifled through the papers, found the one she wanted, clipped to the clipboard, picked up the crayons and started coloring. I gave her a death stare as I watched knowing that she was stealing for a 2 year-old. She instantly annoyed me. She was the kind of girl who made her presence immediately known in a room. She made noise, she took over, and she claimed everything in her sight as her own. She also wore a pink knitted hat in 80-degree weather.

“Do you feel like you’re going to die?” she asked me.

I looked up from my fixed stare at the floor a little puzzled, “No,” I said.

“Well I do. You just looked like you felt like you were going to die.”

“I'm just tired of waiting. They are taking a long time today,” my voice was raspy.

“What are you going to tell them is wrong with you?”


“What are you going to tell them is wrong with you?” Freak Girl asked again.

“I don’t know. I think I have strep throat.”

“Well, I think I am going to tell them I have a virus that might be an infection and if they would just give me pain killers to dull the pain on my last days on earth.”

Awkward smiles and quiet laughing ensued.

“I’m estranged from my boyfriend, he won’t take care of me, but I my cats. They give me love.”

“Well, at least you have the cats,” I said.

“I haven’t taken a shower in three days. I just feel that if you’re going to die, why shower.”

“I agree,” I lied and began to stare deeply at the wall ahead of me. I said a prayer silently that Freak Girl would get the clue that she did not deserve my attention and that in my sickness I did not want to make friends with someone who clearly is pissed that her boyfriend dumped her and wants some Valium.

10 minutes past.

“Do you have someone at home to take care of you?” asked Freak Girl.

“No,” I said with a look that I hope implied that I was independent and proud of it.

“Do you have animals?”

“No cats,” I said.

“What about dogs?”

“No dogs either,” or fish I thought.


“No,” I said a bit shocked. She was clearly a few years younger than me, but what about me screamed single mother?

“So you have no one at home. Well, you know when you have someone you just feel better about life and you, I don’t know, want to be better. When a man nurtures you, you just look at life better. It’s something that society says women shouldn’t feel but I don’t agree with it.”

I knew what she meant, that having boy or man care for you made you realize that even when you were down on yourself, someone was believing in you. I knew what she meant. I just didn’t want to talk about it. Or hear about it.

Freak Girl continued, “I think that we should be happy about love. Women should not feel bad about wanting a man. We should embrace our loneliness, but not accept it.” and then she was called into the secretary’s office.

I wanted to drop kick her, but that last line was a bit poignant. Still, she was Freak Girl and I hated her.

I listened as she told her tale of virus, infection, painkillers to the secretary when she was asked, “But, what’s wrong with you?” She claimed her sinuses hurt and she was tired. I wanted to pop in and give her my diagnosis, a migraine and mild depression for your breakup. When did girls become so scarred that we couldn’t see the signs of heartbreak, that we would parlay that into an infection simply to get drugs?

I was finally called in to see the doctor where I waited for him for another 30 minutes. I decided to lie down and when the MOST BEAUTIFUL DOCTOR I have ever seen opened the curtain, I sat up and wanted to scream, “Yes, yes, I’ll marry you. I’ll stay at home and raise our 12 children. I’ll cook and bake and clean and love you love you love you.” And then I saw his wedding ring. Damn. He stood in front of me and asked my problems. I wanted to tell him that if he was in my home there would be no problems, but I told him about the throat and the earache and ear infection and the pain it takes to swallow. He gave me eye contact with every word he or I spoke. I loved him instantly and was so jealous of his wife. He stood with his legs shoulder length apart and his arms crossed as he listened and asked. I love that stance. It means he is solid and strong and with that position he is protecting me. I wandered if he had children or if it would be a messy divorce when he left his wife for me.

My strep test was negative and the beautiful doctor could find nothing wrong with me, but gave me something for the pain in my throat. He thanked me when I left, but really, I thanked him, a lot.

Sitting at the receptionist’s desk, Freak Girl came sidling up behind me. “Will this girl ever leave me alone,” I thought.

“What’s wrong with you?” she asked.

“Nothing,” I shrugged.

“But they gave you something. What did they give you?”

“Painkillers,” I said.

“What? You got painkillers? I specifically asked for painkillers, but they never give them to you when you ask for them.”

“That because you’re crazy,” I wanted to shout at her, but she kept talking. I tried to cut her off, “It’s just Novocain,” I finally said.

“Oh,” she said and took a seat on the floor in the HALLWAY.

I finished paying and walked by her with a slight smile. I wanted to tell her “You need to see a psychiatrist, you stole those crayons from a 2 year-old and I’m totally blogging everything you’ve said to me.” But I didn’t.

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