Thursday, December 18, 2008

Doctor, Doctor

Recently I visited my doctor. I told him of a deep circle of pain that surrounded my heart and shot through my legs and arms whenever I moved. A professional, he proceeded with medical diligence: my blood pressure and pulse were checked, blood was withdrawn for the usual analysis. Then, with great worry on his face, he presented me with an X-ray.

"Tsk, tsk. See your X-ray. It's out-of-sorts, like a de Kooning painting. No real shape or form that the eye can easily discern. The colours are fine, but little else. In short, you have a defective heart of the formless modern man. As much spiritual as physical."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Ah, the spiritual part, that's for you to determine. Let me just say you are in some danger if corrective measures aren't taken. Just last week I had two patients. One had a heart that looked like the mad strokes of a Riopelle, the other like the furious drippings of a Pollock. Both died within days."

The physician presented me with another x-ray. "See this heart. Perfect, just like a Modigliani painting. There is much lively interpretation of the human form. The shapes are wonderful, the colours bright and healthy. The kind of cardio-vascular system you should develop."

The good doctor told me how I had to change my diet, exercise more, control stress, lose weight, and try to see beauty in a more usual way.

I always do what doctors say, even though sometimes it goes against my intuition of what's right. So I did try my best to follow his instructions; less fat to consume, more greens to eat, longer and brisker walks to take. And I must say I kind of dig this Modigliani cat and I wouldn't mind owning a heart like one of his paintings. But I did find an artist at a gallery whose work appears more suitable to my spirit. These are the paintings of Marc Chagall, the rich colourist with his recurring goat. I don't know much about him or what any of it means, but I think it would be kind of cool to have a goat running through my veins and arteries. I'll have to check the fat content of goat and see what the doctor says. Hope it's OK with him. Wouldn't want to end up dead like a Riopelle, overrated like an oversize Rorschach test.

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