May 28 2008

The Day I Almost Changed My Mind

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I walked around the office gingerly, trying to figure out where would be the best place to sit, not too close to anybody, but not completely removed either so that nobody would think I was snobbish. Everybody took me in without directly looking at me, the way you do with people thrust into the same situation you’re in without wanting to actually engage them in conversation. Eventually I found a spot, picked up the magazine I was least disinterested in, and flipped through it looking at the ads until my name was called.

There was some small talk with a person who took my weight, temperature, blood pressure, and all of the metal items I was wearing or carrying. Then I was put into a small office with more magazines and asked to wait. I had just gotten comfortably asleep when the door opened and I sat up again, greeted by a man slightly older than myself but much wealthier. He asked me how I was (“okay, I suppose,”) and looked at his notes.

“So,” the doctor said. “Are we changing your mind today?”

“Well…” I said.

“Well what?”

“I don’t really want to,” I said. “Isn’t there any other option?”

“You don’t want to keep going around with that mind you’ve got now, do you?” he said.

“Well it’s not like I’m that attached to it,” I said. “But I don’t really want to change it.”

“Look at all the trouble it’s caused you. And it’s only going to get worse.”

“I know, I know.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“I’m used to my mind,” I said. “It doesn’t work very well, I know, but a new one is such a hassle. Getting a new one I have to reset all my preferences, tweak all the settings, all that jazz. And honestly, I’m not convinced a new one would really be any better than the one I’ve got. I mean really, this one does pretty much everything I want it to.”

“But a new one would do it so much faster,” said the doctor. “And let’s face it, the one you’ve got now isn’t going to be supported much longer. Sooner or later you’ll have to change it, you won’t have a choice. Why put up with all that difficulty? If you change your mind now, you’ll get all the benefits of a new one right away. It’s not like it’s really that hard to get used to. By this time next week, you’ll be wondering how you got along with that old mind all this time.”

“I don’t know,” I said. “I want to think about it before I change my mind.”

The doctor gave a sigh and a shrug of resignation. “Okay,” he said, “if that’s really the way you feel. But it’s going to be harder to change your mind later, and probably cost more in the long run.”

“Well, if that’s the case, I’ll just deal with it then. But I don’t want to change my mind before I’m ready.”

“If that’s what you want, that’s what you want,” said the doctor. “I think it’s a mistake — a man your age will probably need to change your mind more and more as time goes on. But it’s your mind, you’ll have to decide when to change it I guess.”

“Yeah,” I said.

“If you do decide to change your mind,” the doctor said, “just call and make another appointment. We’ll be glad to take care of it for you.”

“Thanks,” I said. “I’m sure I’ll change my mind eventually. But not today.” I got up and went out, collected all my metal objects, and went home.

(Originally posted to my LiveJournal.)

2 responses to “The Day I Almost Changed My Mind”

  1. Laurie says:

    I like the play on words. I’d forgotten about this story!