Dr. Phelicia Hart is a fictional character in my in-process novel – Peter’s Vision. While a mystery my intention is to populate it with interesting, true to life, characters. Doc Philly is one such. Let me introduce you to her in the following words.
copyright: ©2013 GCheatle
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Character Presentation – Phelicia Hart, MD
“Good Morning Everyone,” she said as she quickly walked into the Clinic’s front room. The “she” is Dr. Phelicia Hart, the physician in charge and for that matter, the only general practice physician at the Picket Clinic. More importantly, my sometime girlfriend.
Heeled black boots, close fit calf length black skirt, short black leather jacket with a light gray blouse under; this was Doc Philly as she preferred to be called; “I never did like Phelicia,” she often said.
I found it interesting that her name matched her walk or perhaps I should say her gait. Philly walked subtly toe to heel. And to see her cross the room in those heeled boots, back straight, head high, reminded me of a thorough breed horse: determined, self-assured, and confident; yes, a winner.
Just above her shoulders was straight deep black hair, almost china white skin, subtly enhanced with a touch of makeup color and black eyes that at times seemed to flash. Philly is striking to see. From my perspective, she is a pleasure to look upon. Yes, she is all woman and very female if you get my meaning.
Born and raised in Picket, like so many others of her generation, she went away for school after graduation. Folks thought that like her classmates this was a permanent move. But this wasn’t her plan.
As she said to the Gazette reporter on her return, “My dream was to get my medical degree and to return to Picket and set up a practice.” And so she did: undergraduate degree from Northwestern; Medical degree and Master’s degree in Community Public Health from Harvard Medical; residency in family medicine at The Maine Medical Center.
She lived her dream, returned to Picket and opened practice. Some years later, she borrowed the necessary money to build and open the Picket Clinic. It is affectionately known as Philly’s Place.
Movement and noise brought me back to the moment at hand.
Doc Philly noticed me in the waiting room and came over. Well not only the Doc but also her dog. Wherever Philly went her dog went with her, attached to her by one of those retractable leashes. I stood out of respect and to put a bit more distance between me and this jack terrier.
Of all the dogs I have known in my life, Disco was the most annoying. And today she was being very much her annoying self. It was interfering with me talking with the Doc. I was peeved but tried not to show it.
“Cave canem,” I thought: “beware of the dog”. I paused in this thought and added “Cave canem, te necet lingendo (Beware of the dog, he may lick you to death.)” I couldn’t help but smile at my joke but did dare show it.
Disco for her part loved people and was excited to see me. Repeatedly she was jumping straight up; coming off all four paws as only a hyped-up terrier could. I tried to keep my distance from the flurry of activity. Hyperactive is the only way to describe this dog.
“Enough!” I thought. But it wasn’t enough. The dog when not jumping was dancing, sort of, on her hind legs. Around and around she went as she often did; thus her name Disco.
Philly seemed not to notice what was going on.
Once Disco started this dance, she would keep it up until someone gave her a treat which she treats, she knew, were kept in a bowl on the side of the receptionists counter. Exasperated, I went slowly to the goody bowl. Doctor and dog followed. I retrieved and gave a doggie biscuit to the dancer dog.
Disco for her part satisfied went without protest to her cage behind the reception counter. Doc Philly and I went back into her office as opposed to the exam room. I was there on business and not as a patient.
The Clinic was the reality of Philly’s dream: three inpatient rooms, a modern surgery equipped for most out-patient procedures, a lab, three of those small examine rooms and a waiting room. In the waiting room and behind a counter where the nurse receptionist worked was a space for the part-time person who handled the billing. A mini kitchen, a unisex bathroom off the waiting room and a men’s and women’s lavatory and shower room in the back completed the floor plan.
And then there was Philly’s office. What can I say about her office?
As neat as my study is, Philly’s office was messy. And she loved it that way. “Don’t move anything!” she had more than once told me. “I know where everything is and moving it would make it lost.” Someone had given her a sign that said, “A messy desk is a sign of a great mind.” I was annoyed every time I read it.
I tried not to visit with her in her office. But today I had no choice.
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