A Visit in the Dead of the Night
by Tamás Tamássy Tálas
Dr. Tamás Tálas worked in the town of Mezőkövesd between 1973 and 1981. He started to work as a GP in the parish, later he started a surgery. Then he started to work as a GP in a town near Buda. Meanwhile he spent 2 years working in a polyclinic in Tripoly, Libya. He has been running his private surgery lately.
He has been indulged in writing for more than a decade. Interviews and memos of his have been published. Also, he composed a book on his experiences as a surgeon, on his publications and fantasies, that pictures the past 50 years of national health system and the Hungarian reality.
Extracts from the book :
– Don’t be buggered !
The robustic nurse tugged the cushion, as if wanting to shake the doctor to consciousness who was placing his stuff in his drawer. The bulky woman belied her age and physique, as she was stomping with the flying white canvas, as she spread the blanket and was doing the sheets. The doctor was amused watching her fidgety bottom for a few moments. He recalled the times, say forty years ago, when the figure of such a young woman, would attract his attention. Under the white canvas, Joli, his nurse, was catwalking her boobs like two dangling melons, attracting the flashing looks of the apprentice boys glued to her back and bottom. The young nurse was incredibely thin, as she was catwalking, followed by a flock of panting tom-cats. The situation that Joli had a promising partner with a wrestling background (appeared in the ear) has intensified the excitement. The doctor turned back.
– I am not buggered, but they will cut my neck, right?
– Every patient has survived so far.
– I know, it is going to be cut endways not far and wide, still, we are talking about my neck. How do they say? Only the neck will be bloody.
– Why are you nervous? You know the teacher, don’t you?
– Sure, I know her. I am not afraid of her, but I am having cold feet. Forty years ago, I had no idea I would have to deal with this! …Dear Jolan, could you tell me, who put the laxative into my hot chocolate?
– How can you think of the laxative just now? … It was Piri.
– The slim darkie from the ground floor? … I could have never guessed … Back to your question : the complications of a brain surgery can be unexpected. I wonder if you have noticed, that you replied in a flash. I guess, you have a selective memory. You must have had great fun laughing at me dashing to the loo.
The doctor kept sorting his things out, the nurse completed the bedding.
– I’ll bring a temperature chart, meanwhile you can fill in this form, will you? The anesthetist is gonna be here in a minuta, please get your medical reports at hand.
– May I change?
– Indeed, I wanted to ask you, so I can take the clothes into the closet.
– Then you can only escape in your pajamas like in movies.
– I doubt you are gonna escape…Though, you left the department as quickly as a cricket. Would you not call that an escape?
– Defintiely not. Things happened! Why did you not seduce me? I might have stayed.
– Blah- blah. You have not changed. … Go on, get ready, the doctor is coming.
As he was getting undressed squirmly, he started to feel sick. He was acting as a professional guest, but putting on his pajamas, he is simply going to turn into one of the patients on the list. Browsing his medical reports, he felt dizzy…
– I got you a thermometer, tuck it in. Give me your reports, I am gonna check them.
The nurse wrote the chart, and left the medical reports at the end of the bed.
– The doctor is here in the next room, coming soon… Let me know how you are getting on afterwards.
She picked up the sheets lying on the floor and hammered away in the corridor. He has changed and was waiting. His colleague was late. He almost laughed. She is late? Compared to what? Even if she is coming in the hour, she won’t be late. She is free today. It is a different world. This time it is not him being in control. He depends on others. If things go well, he is going to be ‘ done’ by tomorrow. His reports were kinda fine – since he lived alone – even his blood-pressure was low. He picked up the reports, scanned them, then put them back on the bed. Things were settled with the teacher. For quite a while, it seemed, there was no need for an operation, but the damn dumbness he had and this constant pain and torpidity, and he was getting clumsy, too. There was no other choice. He knew, he should be grateful, if he was not getting worse.
He stepped to the window. Facing there was a block of flats. He saw the residents reflected on the balconies of the rooms. Clothes hanging outside in the balcony, iron bars having some revolting geometrical motifs. On the brink of the flatbed road there was a scraggy tree standing ghostly, as a messenger from the past. There was another block of flats towering over the pavement. The smooth rhythm of the balconies have been blurring the details behind a curtain of the perspective.
The book is available in Hungarian!