Friday, January 13, 2012


She talks louder, words spilling as from something overflowing deep inside her, built up over the years. I just sit and smile. I make eye contact with my attending. God, he must think I’m stupid. With the sun at high noon, a question was posed and once again I find myself on the losing end of a draw. Because I was a half-second sluggish, because I stuttered reaching for my weapon, because I paused to contemplate the kill, I now graciously accept her onslaught. Her words—that fiery lead that pours forth from her pistol—pour through me, so I stand. And smile. They say thinking will kill a man. Ah yes, I guess I have always been enticed by the sweet smoke of Death.
So I counter with exacting nods. Appreciating her more well-aimed points—tearing through my spleen, my kidney, my shoulder. But always missing my heart. I counter with a smile and a precise yet subtle cock of my eyebrow whenever she misses. And maybe she misses often. But who cares how many shots were fired when one lays open your leg? So she talks louder. I nod. Faster. I raise an eyebrow. Ammunition rips through my insides. I smile. Then a brief moment of silence.
I seize the repose. I lurch to un-holster my bloodied wit. To fire a few words of my own, steady and true. And I hear the empty click of my barrel as our engagement comes to an end. My attending looks and nods. I force myself to sit a bit taller. My wounded pride clutched beneath the table is dripping crimson between my fingers. Everything is calm up above. There is placid triumph painted on her face. Bold resignation on mine. I smile. Very good, he says. God, he must think I’m stupid.


  1. sometimes when that metaphorical pistol is aimed at us, i wonder if the attending or resident is really trying to shoot a metaphorical bullet through our self-esteems, or if s/he just unwittingly does that. maybe it's a mixture of both.

    but even more so, i sometimes wonder how someone wields so much control over us because, in the grand scheme of things, one pimping session is so miniscule. so insignificant. and we start to let go of it, slowly sidestepping all that rapid firing of question marks.

  2. Haha, strangely, I'm confident when I'm a resident/attending I will pimp the hell out of my students. And it won't be aimed at destroying their self-esteems, but rather augmenting their abilities.

  3. Nicely put. A lawyer can relate.


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