Evening at the Clinic

Kidd Spring Rec Center

The rec center is a large building, comprised of two gymnasiums which can be separated by a folding wall. Each gym is equipped for basketball, or can be used for floor hockey, dances, or any number of other recreational activities.

Outside the rec center is a fenced in basketball court, as well as two tennis courts, offering area children something to occupy their time with.

It's an early summer evening, and the rec center is alive with the sound of voices. But tonight, there are more adult voices than children, though the sound of children playing soccer and basketball outside provides a nice backdrop to the more serious tone inside the building. Bright Futures is running a pro bono 'professional advice' event here for people in the local neighbourhood. Everything from lawyers offering advice on legal issues, to real estate agents and appraisers, social workers to a small collection of doctors and nurses off in the rear of the center, away from the foot traffic, where visitors can have more privacy. There are even a few representatives here from the local vo-tech and community colleges. The hum of a large engine outside comes now and then, as the doors swing open and closed, coming from the Dallas Blood bank truck collecting donations outside. A small selection of drinks and finger-foods have been set out, and are being monitored by volunteers, set beside a table of business cards from local businesses.


Mignonette is just stepping inside herself, straightening up her sleeve, which has been rolled up, leaving her elbow and forearm bare, contrasting the bright fluorescent pink of her bandage with the tan of her skin and the crisp white of her shirt. She's on her way over to the food station to pick up her cookie and juice, standard 'prescription' after one has given blood. She has her briefcase, as per usual, and no phone, though she does have her bluetooth with her, and seems to be in the middle of a conversation. "No, it has to be under 500 or he can't take it to small claims."


Dr. David Trudeau is doing his part manning the table that is announcing the coming innoculation drive, offering on the spot answers to questions regarding the efficacy of innoculations, calming concerns over whether or not they cause autism, and whatnot. Upon the table, as well, are the pledge sheets for the taking with pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes— just to make it that much easier for the pledger.

At the moment, he's in conversation with a hispanic-looking woman, and it's obvious that there's a little bit of a language barrier there. Thankfully, a nurse is kind enough to translate, but not before she makes her 'point' that to do business in Texas is to learn the language, that is.. Spanish, by letting him flounder a little.

Exhaling in a sigh and giving the nurse a tight smile of thanks, he searches the immediate vicinity to see who might be arriving in the immediate future, and judge whether or not he'll actually be able to communicate.

Spanish lessons may very well be in his future here.

The familiar figure of Miss Mignonette Savoy is caught as she crosses the distance between the blood wagon and the food truck. Pushing up on his glasses, he puts a hand on the nurse's shoulder with a whispered, 'Pardon," and rises to his feet before he starts working his way around the table.


Mignonette seems happy enough to wait in line, which is likely a good thing, as they're actually quite busy. Ostensibly, the truck and the table are supposed to be for people participating in the rec center's event, but, it's just as likely that there are more than a few people here that have come for the free meal. Some try to make it a secret, others don't, but regardless, neither the volunteers, or the people working out of the lunch wagon are turning anyone away. The food is free and so is the advice, and the charity is open to giving whatever assistance they can. A step forward, as the small woman moves up a spot or two, eyes down as she examines the bandage around her elbow, poking it idly with her finger, even trying to peek under the edge, but it's wound rather tight.


Needless to say, the nurse isn't all that thrilled with the doctor's departure, and offers the beginning of an argument. "Doctor, I can't.."

"You're doing quite well. And you're not giving any medical advice, so.."

"That's not the point," the nurse interrupts, "what if-"

"I'll keep an eye. Don't worry."

David finishes his path around the table under the glare of the nurse's eye and the puzzled one of the hispanic one that is getting the information now in her 'own language'. Once he passes, the rapid-fire spanish restarts, though it isn't a sure thing they're still discussing vaccines…

Making his way over to the food truck, he plants a hand into his pocket while the other is allowed to move freely as he walks. As he closes the distance, David calls out when he's no longer in danger of yelling, "Qu'est-ce? Aucun gaufres ou de poulet?" «What is this? No waffles or chicken?»


Mignonette looks up and over, as the familiar voice brings a familiar face with it, and she immediately stick out her arm in the doctor's direction, "I have lost an arm and gained a pincushion. Don't try for the vein in the middle I said. Use the one on the side, I said. Six sticks later, my arm has turned into Swiss cheese." She says that with all seriousness, but it soon fades, like a lightswitch banishing the dark, as she laughs, answering the question posed to her, "No chicken and waffles. We thought about it…but the demographics suggested that perhaps american and hispanic food would go over better. Have you tried the tacos? Don't eat the cerviche." She lowers her voice, "Just in case." And then, that smile again, "We've had a great turn out tonight. Have you done your duty for god and country yet?" She does lift a finger, wagging it in the man's direction, "You're temping me to cook for you later."


"Ah, non.. I am just as bad. It's probably why the nurses always took the hypodermics from me. 'First do no harm' apparently also means me and needles." David looks suitably sympathetic; needles, after all, aren't any fun. And when shunts are involved?

He chuckles soon after, and lowers his voice a little as he finishes closing the distance. This one, he'll continue in french, "Je vais devoir apprendre l'espagnol, je crois. L'infirmiere est trs malheureux avec moi parce que je ne le parle pas." «I'm going to have to learn Spanish, I think. The nurse is quite unhappy with me because I don't speak it.» Brightening once more at the mention of food, however, he smiles sheepishly, "I.. uh.. they looked a little spicy? I passed." He continues, however, "If you can make a good poutine?"

The opportunity is taken to look around the gathering; something he's been watching since it began, and nods his agreement. "It looks good. I'm over there," twisting around to point at the table, the nurse, apparently, is keeping an eye on him. "at the table. Giving information regarding the vaccines.." David chuckles and puts a hand up, "Queen and country, and no. But, I'm earning my non-pay."


"Yes, they're one of the worst parts of being in the hospital. I had to get blood work every morning, during my last stay. And it was terrible. And then they decided to switch the IV to my hand, and the vein was so small, I could feel the plastic needle constantly poking me. It was like Chinese Water Torture. I couldn't wait to be knocked out." She continues to move forward, as she heads towards the front, "I've been trying to learn myself. I'd be glad to study with you, if you might want that. I can only get bits and pieces from my french, and my german only helps me order bratwurst down here, so…" A tilt of her head, "You don't eat spicy food? Well, I'll tell you a secret. Not all hispanic food is spicy. I know just what we can order for you, that won't set your mouth on fire." And then, a moment, to consider, "French fries, gravy and cheese curd, right? That's the version you usually get? I don't think I'd have too much trouble getting any of those things. I know a few places. And there are quite a number of expats down here." She too looks back at the gathering, "we've mostly been getting domestic and small claims questions, but I think most of the people who've been coming to us, they have real needs, but they're frightened of the police. Which is not at all unusual, when you consider the countries they come from. Most of them, the police are worse than the criminals. A lot of the gangs around here are actually more concerned with the welfare of the citizens of their neighbourhoods than the police. They don't deal in drugs, they deal in prescriptions, baby formula, medical supplies."


"I'll be sure to look around for a good phlebotomist for you next time you need blood work," David promises and adds a gesture of 'crossing his heart' with the promise before taking the opportunity to push up on his glasses. "Because," and a small whistle comes, "yes. Not pleasant."

A chuckle sounds soon after. "I am the worst student for book learning. Lectures, fine.. but I need to be out and applying. Books, believe it or not, drive me completement fou." «absolutely crazy» David shakes his head, continuing the thought, "If you can stand that, then I accept."

A dismissive hand is waved at the offer taken up regarding poutine. "Don't worry about it. Non.. never mind. I don't need it. What I would like, however, are some of those recommendations for non-spicy spanish food. At least point me in the direction of the truck. The tacos? Are they spicy? I mean, I know it depends upon how they're made…"

As for how her day is going so far, David nods slowly, his brows rising in askance, "You didn't mention immigration."


"Thank you, I'll be sure to add a note to mention the next time I need bloodwork on my calendar to you." That's said with some laughter, but there's seriousness in her eyes. Clearly, the hospital…not a pleasant thing, "Thank you. Honestly." A moment, as she considers the doctor's comments, "Well, there is another option, besides studying and trying to speak with me. There are quite a number of places in the city that teach ESL, and the university has a number of classes as well. I'm certain we could find people who would be willing to speak spanish to us, if we speak english to them. We'd be learning spanish as it's spoken here, not the formal Castilian that's spoken in books and lectures." And then, as he turns to food, she continues, "Well, tamales are usually a good bet. And fresh chicken or beef tacos. Those are not usually cooked in the sort of spice you're probably thinking of, like ground taco meat. Fish tacos are usually quite mild, as are vegetarian selections. And most of the places here, even if a dish would normally be spicy, you can ask for it mild. They're used to cooking for softer palates. Gaspacho isn't spicy, it's a cold soup…I'll make up a list for you." Finally, she gets to the froont, "Two pork chille relleno please." And…she looks over, "Should I order for you? No, just ask for no sauce, or sauce on the side, you can season to taste." At the final comment, "Would you ask about that in a public place like this? Or mention it aloud if someone asked you?" It is a very…hot button topic.


David nods, his brows raising at the thought, "Hadn't considered that.. the ESL. I'll have to look into that." On campus. "See what I can find."

Chuckling, he looks down at his shoes for a moment before raising his gaze again. "Still, we probably should find someone who'll teach us something that will let us communicate. I mean, teaching l'Academie francaise is probably preferable to, say.. Quebecois or Acadian." The smile remains behind, "I know what trouble I can get in should I go to France, so at least I have a heads-up for that."
Still, it's not something that he's terribly worried about, obviously.

The advice on the food is taken, and with another wave off of his hand, adds, "I'm good, thanks. Just wanted to get away from the table for a couple of minutes, and seeing you up here gave me that very same excuse." David twists around to the table from whence he came and looks.. a little disappointed. "I will have go to back, however. Only one on from the CDC tonight. But.. I will take your recommendations under advisement, and reserve the right to pursue legal action if my tongue is burned off. How's that?"


"Id check the campus paper, and look around at the bulletin boards and around the food stands. If SMU is anything like Columbia, you'll find a lot of home grown ads for people willing to both teach and to learn with other students and such. It shouldn't be too difficult." It doesn't take long for her order, and as soon as she grabs it, she steps to the side, to make room for the people behind her, offering a thank you to the older woman who made her order, and forking off a small piece, "Just one bite? Try it…you'll like it, I promise." The chile is mild and sweet, and the picaddillo it's filled with as well, with pork and nuts and fruit." She holds out the bite, having to reach up a bit to get it in your range, of course, "One bite, and you get to run free. And I get to go finish up, before I head to the market." Poutine…she will figure you out…oh yes, she will.


"One bite.." David takes and stores the information regarding the postings. He really didn't give anything like that close attention. While in uni, he'd simply done everything he needed to do and moved on from there. Bending at the waist a little in order to get at the proffered fork, he puts his own hand out to steady it and the bite is taken. He chews it slowly, consideringly, before he nods. Nope, not poison.. and he swallows soon after. "Okay.. not bad. Now, I'd better get back to work before I get the nurses' union after me." Even if he doesn't speak spanish and there isn't any medical advice being given out, but rather, information on the vaccinations themselves. "Good luck on your end.. oh, and if you need pledge envelopes, we've got a bunch. Seems no one is taking them from our table."


It's like the first victory that wins the war, as the doctor samples the chiles, but true to her word, Migs does not force anymore on him, "Go, go…I won't keep you any longer. If nothing else, I think the people here will appreciate knowing that a doctor is here, actually speaking with them and caring about their concerns, even if you do need a translator." She does move to walk him part of the way back, before she goes to find a free spot to finish eating, before she too, goes back into the fray for the remainder of the evening. "I'll grab more if I need them," is the final salvo before work, such as it is, resumes.

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