Pink Ponies

“Get up and walk.”

This doesn’t make sense. I thought I was somewhere else; why am I in a room now, with this stranger ordering me around?

“You can’t leave unless I am sure that you can walk.”

I acquiesce, surprised to be steady on my feet again, and walking, faster than before, taking strong steps up and down the hall as she follows me.

“You are doing well and can leave soon,” the stranger smiles, suggesting some relief.

After all, I am sixty-five and have been through a lot. I look back at the now familiar stranger and say, “Thanks for hiring the pink ponies to prance around and entertain the patients,” as deadpan as I can. I remember her name, Lynn, as I am leaving a few hours later.

Lynn tells me, “Don’t worry about the ponies. I will take good care of them.”

Eli Daniel Ehrenpreis started life as a musician and then became a physician, educator, writer, and inventor. He stopped seeing patients due to disability (intersectional identity). He has published in Pharos, Reapparitions, Medicine and Meaning, and Hektoen International. He lives with his wife Ana, and two small dogs in Skokie, Illinois.

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