What seems to be the trouble? he asks .
I cough and splutter all over the place.
He gets the message.
Sits down to write the certificate.
There, he says , handing the form to me . This should do the trick.
I peruse it quickly.
There’s something missing.
You haven’t written down the illness, I say . Why I had time off.
That’s right. If you had Alzheimer’s or a social disease would you want people to know?
My point exactly.
But I thought you had to put something down.
No, he says . And if they ask, tell them to take a running jump . Better still, tell them to phone me and I’ll tell them to take a running jump . Only in stronger terms.
He stands up. Shakes my hand.
The next day at work I hand in the certificate.
The doc’s right .
They see the blank space but no one says a word.
I push it a bit further.
On the official form, the one you fill out yourself, where it says ‘Illness’ I put down ‘See Certificate’ .
It feels good. It really does .
I’ve found a new way to treat with the world.