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Susan Seale Jarvis, JD

What Color are My Eyes, Doc? Resentment permeates Room 423, flowing from patient to doctor, from doctor to patient. Ask the scrawny kid in the bile green too-large hospital gown and he will tell you the drab hospital room sucks, responding to the same inane questions for the umpteenth time is a drag, and the doctor nerd across from him staring at his computer screen is the ultimate bore. Ask the doctor and he will tell you the room in the children’s wing of the county hospital is depressing, repeating the same questions to the kid again is a waste of his time and the kid himself is the most obnoxious eleven-year-old in the city. He won’t tell you about the other boy, same age, same type injury, the one named Ahmad. The story hurts too much. Even now. Neither is here by choice. The kid is waiting for the infection from the gunshot wound to the leg to heal, and then he’s good to go. The doctor is fulfilling his private clinic’s requirement of pro bono work, then he’s made partner. “How old are you, Seth?” The kid named Aaron looks over at the whitecoated man. He guesses the nerd doc is somewhere between forty and fifty. On the other hand, if he has a face full of Botox he could be decades older. Tough to tell ages these days, especially when one has enough green backs. “That’s a rude question, Aaron. You don’t ask adults their age. And my name is Doctor Carlisle to you. Not Seth.” Cheeky kid. “Double standard, eh Doc? You adults ask kids their age all the time. By the way, you can call me Mr. Hebert. Just don’t pronounce the ‘H.’ And the ‘e’ is like an ‘a’. I’m Cajun you know. I’m a Katrina kid transplanted up here to live with my Granny Angelina. Been here long enough to start sounding like you Yankees.” Seth knows Aaron’s background. The social worker carefully documented the family history. The boy’s chronological age may have been eleven, but street-wise, he was one of the savviest kids in the inner city 9

Connective Tissue 2013 | Volume 6