THE ANTIBODY: A super short story series. Teeny-tiny anti-anxiety laughs for tough times.
2 minute read:
“HOLD THE ELEVATOR!” Earl shouted, walking faster. Rushing was just a way of life for a resident; there was always something he needed to do. The doors were almost shut when a pearl-bracelet-donning arm shot through them at the last moment. The doors reopened just in time for Earl to enter and catch his breath.
As the elevator started to creak upwards, Earl pressed the button for his floor and then looked to his left to thank the person who had risked her arm for him. She was a short, elderly black woman sporting a rollator (you know… the walkers with a little seat on them), with deep smile lines in her face indicating that she had probably done a lot of laughing over her lifetime. She wore a muted pink suit and pearls on her neck to match the ones on her arm. She looked like someone’s sweet little grandmother, and he was so much taller than her that he could easily see the top of her freshly-curled stone-colored hair.
“Thank you so much, Ma’am,” he breathed, and then turned to watch the red numbers ahead of him change as the elevator ascended.
“Anytime, baby,” she responded, glancing at his name tag, underneath which the word ‘DOCTOR’ hung in bright orange letters.
Earl glanced back at her, noticing a sparkle in her eye and mischievous facial expression that he couldn’t quite interpret.
“So,” she continued. “You’re a doctor, I see…”
“Yes, ma’am!” Earl replied with a smile. As his time in residency passed, he was growing more accustomed to experiencing the maternal/paternal pride of older black patients that he ran into in the hospital. Their approval of his accomplishment was such an honor; it always warmed his heart.
“So… what specialty are you in?” She moved a step closer to him as the elevator continued to rise.
“Internal Medicine,” he replied.
She turned to look him full in the face and said firmly: “Baby, YOU CAN INTERNALIZE ME ANYTIME” with more lust in her voice than Earl had ever heard from a woman her age. She locked eyes with him and they shared an uncomfortably long moment of uninterrupted eye contact.
*DING!* His mouth dropped open in shock and amusement as the elevator doors opened to her floor. She sauntered off the elevator (as best as a woman could saunter with a rollator), looking back at him seductively as the doors shut again.
So, NOT maternal pride… but I guess I still got it!!! Earl jokingly thought to himself, before bursting into laughter as he finished his elevator ride alone.
Written by Dr. Oye based on a chat with Earl Campbell, MD, an advanced gastroenterology fellow. Follow him on Instagram at @earlcampbellMD for his hilarious IG stories and memes! #getthescope
Disclaimer: All names, dates, diseases, or any other identifying details of patients and healthcare providers in my stories have been changed to protect their privacy.