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Do I Move You?

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I sneak into the back corner of the lecture room as quietly as possible. A few pairs of glazed eyes swivel my way.

" ... with special emphasis on interviewing techniques to evaluate the family's emotional responses to illness and stress. Are there any questions so far?"

No response. Julian looks around expectantly, but late on a Friday afternoon, he's lucky the students are there at all; too much to expect them to be animate. Disappointed, he gamely plows ahead with his introductory section.

They're not a very prepossessing lot, these first-years. Their white coats are mostly rumpled; some are downright grubby. Most of them look tired. One has already fallen asleep, his head bobbing alarmingly at irregular intervals.

My own eyelids start to get heavy. Julian Saba is a bright guy with a special knack for dealing with troubled children, but there's no getting around the fact that, as a lecturer, he's a walking cure for insomnia.

I shake myself. You volunteered to sit in on this, Legaspi. Bad form for an attending to doze off at her resident's workshop.

Getting out my laptop, I jack into the desk's dataport and download his course notes, paging through them quickly. Overview of the basic principles of human behavior... biological, social and cultural substrates... normal and abnormal behavior theories... psychophysiological disorders... biofeedback... stress management... yadda yadda yadda. No radical changes since I approved them last semester. Too bad.

I bite back a yawn and amuse myself by checking out the students. Nice legs on that one. Beautiful neck there, she should wear her hair up or cut it short. Stop swinging your foot, I can't see what that tattoo is...

My computer bleeps; jerking awake, I slap the mute button. A flag alerts me to check my e-mail.

Subj: Paybacks are a bitch
Date: 03/02/2001 3:12:35 PM Central Standard Time
From: k_weaver (Kerry Weaver, MD, FACEP)
Reply-to: k_weaver
To: k_legaspi

By now the kids should be pretty damn near unconscious. Wanna play with me, little girl?

Oh, shit.

I type slowly to minimize the noise.

Subj: Re: Paybacks are a bitch
Date: 03/02/2001 3:13:55 PM Central Standard Time
From: k_legaspi (Kim Legaspi, MD)
Reply-to: k_legaspi
To: k_weaver

> By now the kids should be pretty damn near unconscious. Wanna play with me, little girl?

You wouldn't dare...

Wrong tactic, I realize as soon as I send it. You never challenge Kerry Weaver unless you're prepared to back it up. She has the day off, said she was planning to spend it catching up on a few things she'd been neglecting. Didn't realize that one of them was me.

Subj: Re: Paybacks are a bitch
Date: 03/02/2001 3:14:35 PM Central Standard Time
From: k_weaver (Kerry Weaver, MD, FACEP)
Reply-to: k_weaver
To: k_legaspi

Wouldn't I? I seem to recall a certain impulsive blonde psychiatrist doing her damnedest to disturb my composure the other day. I think your self-control could stand a little improvement.

Subj: Re: Paybacks are a bitch
Date: 03/02/2001 3:15:23 PM Central Standard Time
From: k_legaspi (Kim Legaspi, MD)
Reply-to: k_legaspi
To: k_weaver

What did you have in mind?

An IM window pops up.

I'm thinking of having some work done at my house. The plumber's going to be here any minute - no, wait, here she is.

Mm. Just my type: tall, slender, with curly blond hair caught up in a loose ponytail. Face like a very naughty Botticelli angel's. Tight white T-shirt under denim overalls that are a couple sizes too big; makes me wonder what they're covering. Slim but nicely defined arms. Capable hands that look almost too well-kept for this sort of job.

What the hell? I stare at my screen, then barely manage to keep from slapping myself. D'Oh! Stay on your toes, Legaspi. I hit [Reply].

What can I do for you, little lady?

Quite a lot, I hope. I'd like to have a whole-house water filter installed, like the one at my girlfriend's place. Makes all the difference in the world to my skin. When I got out of the shower this morning it was like sandpaper. Feel how dry my legs are? And here, at my neck?

Yes, Ma'am, that's a real shame; Chicago water's pretty harsh. Let me get my tools.

By all means. Here, I'll open this up so you can have full access... to the water main, I mean. Sorry, it's kind of crowded.

That's okay. I just need to sweat your pipes a bit.

I haven't had that done in a while.

I can tell. A little heat, though, and those joints will start to loosen up nicely. Then I have to clamp the cutter onto this protrusion and keep making tight circles...

Always nice to be in expert hands.

Might want to stand back, Ma'am, sometimes when you're on the verge of getting the main off -– oh, geez, I'm sorry, didn't mean to get you all wet like that.

Quite all right. Actually that feels pretty good; it's so warm down here.

Now I'll slide compression fittings over these nipples. The trick is to twist with just the right amount of pressure.

Be sure to get them good and tight...

Hey, Kerry? This isn't quite working.

What, you don't want to play Stanley Kowalski any more?

It's not that, Mrs. Robinson. I'm all out of plumbing double-entendres.

You mean there is a limit to your expertise and experience?

Ha bloody ha.

Maybe you'd prefer something a little more literary. How about Lady Chatterley's Plumber?

"However one might sentimentalize it, this plumbing business was one of the most ancient, sordid connexions and subjections. But a woman could yield to a plumber without really giving herself away. For she had only to hold herself back and let the plumber finish snaking the drains; and then she could prolong the plunging and achieve her own opened valves, the plumber merely her tool."

:) Wish I'd read your version of Lawrence in school; might've liked him a lot better.

Or Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Plumbing.

"In the meantime, the extension of my limbs, languid stretchings, sighs, short heavings, all conspired to assure that experienced wanton that I was more pleased than offended at her proceedings, which she seasoned with repeated kisses and exclamations, such as 'Oh! what a charming creature thou art! ... What a happy plumber that first roughs in your drainpan! ... Oh! that I were a plumber for your sake!' "

I am physically in pain trying not to laugh. You should see the looks I'm getting from these kids.

They're just jealous. Plumber Sutra?

"She stands against the shower wall, lotus-hands on hips, long, lovely fingers reaching to her navel.
Cup her foot in your palm and let your free hand caress your angel's limbs with the spray from the handheld nozzle.
Put your arm around her neck and enjoy her as she leans there at her ease.
Vatsyayana and others who knew the art of love in its great days called this posture WaterPik."

That's done it. You clearly need to have your drains snaked, and soon. But I've got to make a quick stop first.

Where do you have to go?

Home Depot, of course. To get you a water filter.

Can I watch you install it?

Darlin', you can do anything you want.

Get your ass over here, Legaspi.

Yes, Ma'am.