I get the hospital in a bit of a hurry for family obligations have delayed me at home for a while. I press the button and wait for the lift up to my floor, some people join me by the lift gate; among them there is a tall blonde woman I had never seen before. In a minute’s time the lift gate opens, the people inside the box step out but not Dc JMS, who I have known and appreciated for years, he stays in instead. “Up or down?” I ask him playful for I knew he had to go up since he doesn’t leave the lift and there isn’t any lower level. “It seems obvious I go up” He answers. As he was saying this, the tall blonde woman comes into the lift and asks, “How is this possible you came down in the lift when I just saw you here in the ground floor?”, “Dc JMS happens to be ubiquitous” I replied looking at both of them. “I wish I were…” Dc JMS says, “so I could work in two places at the same time”. “I Think I’ve got very enough with just one workplace so stressed I feel…” the tall blonde woman says.” I don’t hesitate to have my say “It would be lovely to enjoy the company of two different people in two different places at the same time, though”, “That would be nice” Dc JMS carries on “but then it would be starting feeling hot”. “I didn’t mean sex” I protest. “Nor did I” snaps he, “I was thinking of room temperature”.
As soon as he utters that last bit, the lift door opens at fourth floor and he leaves us. I mean to say my last word, but before I can open my mouth the door closes and the lift moves up. Shocked, the tall blonde woman just says “most intense 20 minutes ever”.
After leaving a post on a social network signed with his very name, Dc Rypff thinks carefully in his car as he drives from home on the outskirts downtown to the hospital, where he has been working as a psychiatrist for the last 10 years.
He begins his consultation with the usual devotion, but he can’t help thinking of the comment posted on Facebook: it is frequently said that it is not the best forum to explain a work experience, especially when this experience depicts a trial he was called to with some other colleagues to give their professional opinion on a rather gray area. Furthermore, this issue was to be cast at the local mass media as he could eventually noticed.
At noon he takes his coffee brake and thinks he’d better delete that post just in case. He doesn’t know who might have read it so far, but it’s been barely two hours and a half since and he’s sure little people would have had the time to read it. He still feels uneasy so he visits the legal consulting service at the hospital; he knows that the staff working there is efficient and trust-worthy.
Dc Rypff has always been a fair and observing about both professional ethics and keeping the secret over his patients’ identity, but he had never written about his professional experience so he is not familiar with the legal or moral consequences that may arise from talking about it.
After a long discussion the answer by the legal consulting team surprises him: he is not allowed to express his consulting room experiences in any written, social network, blog or by any other mean whatsoever. The reason supporting this is that doctors do not own the facts or details their patients give them during their sessions, and that it wouldn’t ever be ethical to make profit out of the situations his patients tell him of if not to preserve their health. After this answer from the “learned” consulters, Dc Rypff feels upset, as if knocked out. However, he carries on the visits at his consulting room as usually.
By the end of the morning an unexpected patient comes into the room –he didn’t have an appointment- and obviously frantic he begs for a report about his mental health to be presented at court the following day. Despite the oddness of his bequest, Dc Rypff writes the man’s report and feels sorry about making the last patient on his very long list wait.
When the day is definitely done and Dc Rypff is getting ready to dismiss, he notices the man in need for the report is awaiting him outside the door and so is a good-looking woman who happens to be the man’s lawyer. The woman introduces herself as E.R., gives him her business card and thanks him for writing such a complete report in so little time, especially when the contents of the report may be an important key during the trial. Dc Rypff tries to downplay this fact declaring that’s part of his duty and not so thankworthy. The woman gives her client a look meaning he can go home and addresses the psychiatrist once more telling him she’s in debt with him a not to hesitate whenever he may have a legal concern. Suddenly, Dc Rypff remembers his question about relating his professional experiences and asks her for advice. She, a member of the bar, tells him not to worry so long as he neither says the actual name and circumstances of a patient nor breaches medical confidentiality so he can write what he wishes.
Out on the road they both smoke a cigarette while talking on medical laws and rights and other more-down-to-ground things. When she finished her cigarette, E.R. takes her keys out of her handbag, says goodbye to Dc Rypff friendly, goes by to a huge Harley Davidson last model, lifts the seat to take a black helmet out, puts the helmet on, gets on the bike like a horsewoman and starts the engine on. At last, she makes the sign of the horns and dashes the road up. Behind her only the sweet roar of a dream-like machine and Dc Rypff’s stunned face remain.