A guest at my posada barely touched her breakfast. When I asked, she held her stomach—a familiar complaint due to strange flora in a new food chain.
“Maybe you should see the pharmacist at the end of Calle Santander,” I suggested.
“I think I need to see a doctor,” Corinna replied.
“He is a doctor.”
I didn’t see Corinna at supper. But the next morning she dove into my special crushed macadamia nut pancakes. Obviously, she was much improved. When I brought over a fresh glass of mango nectar—I always pulp and freeze a huge supply at the height of the season—she gulped it down and asked for more.
“Thanks for the referral, yesterday.” Then she giggled and shook her head. “I still can’t believe he’s a doctor. I mean his farmacia is open to the street, two steps from the constant parade of tourists and vendors.”
“Tell me what happened.”
“Well, a lady came to the counter…”
“That’s Juana, his wife.”
“She asked what I wanted. Well, I’m not used to describing my symptoms on a street corner and certainly not the state of my bowels. She just looked at me, like, ‘So out with it. What do you need a private room and a paper gown?’ So, in my best Spanish I said, ‘Could I speak to the doctor?’”
“She shrugged then yelled, ‘Hector!’”
“I looked to a corner of the shop where a short, heavy-set man in nylon shorts and a team-type jersey sat with two adolescent boys watching what must have been a televised soccer match. He levered himself out of the chair and edged his way over to me all the while looking over his shoulder at the game. He glanced up and asked what the problem was.”
“I pressed my hands on my belly.”
“He nodded once. ‘Vomiting?’”
“‘How many days?’”
“Four or five.”
“He reached into drawer and poured out ten tablets into an envelope. ‘Cipro,’ he said. Then held up two fingers. ‘Two each day.’ Then he held up five fingers, ‘Five days.’”
“From the corner of the room I heard a loud whoop and an announcer drawing out a long ‘G-O-O-A-L!’ The doctor raced back to the game. The wife rang up the sale.”
“Pretty efficient, huh?” I asked.
Corinna chuckled. “I couldn’t believe it…no appointment scheduled for three weeks from now, no insurance card, family history or co-pay. And best of all it worked like a charm.”
Retired trainer, and writing instructor, Joe Novara and his wife live in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Writings include novels, short stories, a memoir and various poems, plays, anthologies and articles. Read more at https://freefloatingstories.wordpress.com/