What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Part 5

Portland. We got an apartment and felt somewhat renewed. The geographical cure is certainly a temporary fix, but it works nicely for a while. There is the novelty of the new place, the distractions of putting together a new apartment. Hope trickles down. It was mid-September, it was sunny, everything was green. A new start. I was feeling somewhat confident again. Sure, I had cut my training short, but still I was a doctor, that had to be worth something. Though I had given up on saving the world, I felt I could at least parlay my education into something I might enjoy.

Life took on a certain rhythm. Get the paper, circle the jobs: medical writer, hospital PR. There were trips to Kinko’s to make copies of my resume. I would stand outside for hours watching spiders spinning webs and hunting in the bushes by our front door. I invented salad dressings. My job search was floundering. I couldn’t seem to get anyone to call me back. I tried letters:

October 10

Dear Mr. Fitzpatrick,

I am responding to your ad for a Community Relations Coordinator . . . ability to offer both a clinical background and a real interest in community health . . . committed to meaningful work . . . asset to your program. Sincerely, Dr. Nostrum, MD

I began to see the world in a new way: “Hey, look at that guy power-washing the glass bus stop shelter. That could be Ok.” “Is it me or do mail carriers have it made?” “What about tree surgeons? That’s medically related.”

Then one-day clouds moved in. They never left. I listened to the weather report each morning anyway. It was like playing with a sore tooth: I just couldn’t help myself. Like the Inuit and their scores of words for the subtle shades of snow, these Northwesterners would spin their invariably sodden condition. “Today: steady drizzle with periods of rain punctuated by heavy downpours. Misting overnight. For your extended forecast, please take today’s and multiply it by six months. Have a nice Wednesday.” My moods followed closely: Patches of despondency, with scattered self-loathing. Chance of overnight despair. Still, there was no choice but to press on.

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Published in: on November 27, 2006 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  

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