Camouflaging the Curves

600scoliosisIn response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man.”

Doctor Pointer paces across the room
, one arm across his chest, the other wielding a classroom pointer. An odd figure of a man, he looks like his name. Pointy all over – nose, ear lobes, fingers, silver gray cowlick – even his lips are pointed, giving the impression of a chronically pinched grimace. Seated before him are a handful of attentive medical students. Dr. P points directly behind him to the row of spinal x-rays hanging along a wire across the room, clothesline-style.
“Exquisite, aren’t they?”
He traces the trajectory of one of the spinal columns with his pointer.

“Behold the gently flowing curves working together – notice how the anterior curve causes this lovely swirling effect…”
He hears the whoosh of a hand raising.
“Ah … yes, Maria.”
“Respectfully, Dr Pointer, I see nothing exquisite or gentle about a severe curvature of the spine such as this. It would surely generate significant pain and a high level of limited mobility.”
Another student chimes in, leaning forward to get a better look at the x-rays…

“I agree with Maria. I’m seeing at least a 60 degree thoracic curve with a small lumbar curve attempting to compensate. The body disfigurement in this case would be extensive.
A frustrated Dr P, who’s points seem to get pointier with stress, becomes stern.
“Class, I want you to answer one question. What is the primary structural purpose of the spine?”
“The primary structural purpose of the spine is to keep the head centered at the top of the body.  It’s as simple as that. It’s as complex as that. The spine, in all its bodily wisdom, will do whatever it takes to carry out this task. Even if it means twisting itself into unusual configurations and shapes to do so. This spinal column has done its job relentlessly for many years! It should be honored, not vilified!”
Dr. P slaps the x-ray with his pointer.
More silence, as all heads turn toward the door at the sound of a knock and the door opening. A smiling 50-something woman breezes in and does a brisk jog across the room to Dr. P.
“Sorry to interrupt the class, but you forgot your lunch, dear.”
She hands a startled Dr. P a plump brown paper bag.
“Well … thank you! Ah … students, this is my wife, Alice.”
Simultaneously, all the students wonder the same thing. Is that a hint of a real smile on the good professor’s face? A slight gleam in his eye? A slight softening of some of his precious points?
Alice turns to make a quick exit, then abruptly stops …

“Hey, are those my x-rays?”
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man.”
The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man

4 thoughts on “Camouflaging the Curves

  1. I’ve never heard it expressed so simply! The purpose of the spine! Now… I know why my stays sore… to keep my head in it’s correct position!!! 😉


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