Lorenzo’s Lumber

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When Lorenzo turned up for his CT scan, Dr Clarke initially thought he had misheard the aging Italian.

“How long-a ’dis-a gonna take?” he enquires with his melodic Italian accent as he gingerly takes a seat opposite the doctor.

Dr Clarke, speculating that Lorenzo is anxious about the machine itself and having to keep still with his constantly twitching arms and legs, began to placate him. “Many people find the rhythm and the whirring sounds to be quite peaceful. I often have patients falling asleep while having a scan. You really don’t have to wor—“

“I have-a to be gone-a by three o’clock at the latest. Rosie, she live-a next door … eh, she’s-a bringing me cookies. Rosie’s-a cookies are like no others.”

Dr Clarke smiles and ensures Lorenzo that everything will be fine, and the sooner they get started, the sooner he can be devouring those delectable cookies. He adds with a wink, “You will be so well-rested and youthful that Rosie won’t see you coming.”

Having exchanged his brown slacks, beige shirt and brown Moccasins for a standard blue hospital gown, Lorenzo climbs up onto the narrow table situated in front of the large donut-shaped machine. He lets out a shiver as he lays back on the cold, metal slab, and Dr Clarke notices the protruding tent-like structure several centimetres below his abdomen. He looks to the old man for any hint of a joke but he’s met with a blank gaze.

“What is THIS?” the young doctor scoffs as he looks around for a hidden camera while gesturing towards the pyramid of blue cotton before him.

Lorenzo’s face drops as he grasps his dilemma – figuratively of course, not literally. He takes a deep breath and stares at his fidgeting fingers, avoiding eye contact as he explains, “The pills-a … they don’t normally work-a so fast.”

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