Arnon Grunberg



The paramedic arrived with a rather large suitcase.
She was here to take my blood, I was supposed to give her a urine sample; she would measure my blood pressure etcetera.
This is what it takes to get a permanent disability insurance.
The paramedic came from Vietnam, she was good-humored, even though I’d forgotten to call her back to confirm the appointment.
I must admit that for one second I had had an erotic fantasy, a paramedic in my apartment in the middle of the day. Couldn’t that be the beginning of a beautiful dalliance? But it turned out to be a rather melancholy rendezvous.
“Your blood pressure is too high,” she said, “but I guess that’s because you are afraid of the needle.” “I’m very much afraid of the needle,” I answered. “I tend to faint when people take my blood.” I laid down; she took my blood. I didn’t faint. Then she wanted to know whether I’d ever been admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
“Not yet,” I answered.
“That’s a no,” she said.
“That’s a no,” I replied.

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