Doc’s Music Therapy
Y’all already know I have an odd life. One day it’s belly aches and the next it’s appeggios.
I have to play music to deal with the injustice of it all. It’s good that I write too. I went back and forth all summer with a series of clerks who couldn’t understand why a patient needed a new set of dentures. Any reasonable person in the world would understand “his dentures don’t fit and he can’t eat,” but I finally semi-satisified them with “masticatory derangement secondary to dental appliance mal-occlusion has resulted in relative caloric deprivation with concomitant serum albumin depression.”
The way you win these battles is to raise the bar with each exchange until you find a level the clerk can’t interpret. They don’t want to admit they have no idea what you are talking about and give in. (If you do this too early they get their back up and call you a smart a^^.)
Of course every bluegrasser in the world knows this means, “If that boy don’t get some dentures that fit right he’s gonna starve to death.”
But because of my music therapy I’m only half crazy. It was a school-house show with Guitar-ed and Feather-ed to the most enthusiastic audience of the year and the youthful energy of Della Mae. It was the relaxation of the informal front porch sessions of New Plowed Ground, and the ever so fine old and new bluegrass mix of Balsam Range. It was a great Django tribute by Reggie and Ryan Harris, with Danny Knicely, a red-hot old-time mando man who knew the gypsy jazz fretboard too along with the cool mandolin vocabulary of my old pal Darin Aldridge.
It was little Megan Peeler who gave me a treasured memento, a signed photo that dubbed me “the ultimate music therapist,” and The Bluegrass Sweethearts Darin and Brooke Aldridge who invited me to play a church gig on the way back home.
All these kids know how to recharge old Doc every time. I’m ready go back and do verbal battle with some dim-witted bureaucrat. Let’s see, how ’bout, “This scan is indicated because new onset radiculopathy concurrent with recent trauma and known stenosis is high risk for cord compression.”
If that doesn’t do it you tell the insurance guy, “look buddy, if this guy winds up paralyzed me and him are gonna get together and send you the bill. I ain’t going away. You can count on it.” That usually works.
If one day it finally doesn’t, I’m gonna retire, put a full-page ad in the Harvey Herald to name the SOB who didn’t care, and tell the world I’ve gone to Reggie’s to study gypsy jazz.
But for now, thanks to all my friends who serve as my safety net team of music therapists, I’m ready to fight another day.
Thanks for the music, guys.
Dr. BThe Monday Morning Post, Writing
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