The first time my father’s doctor asked me into his office to explain his situation to me, I was too nervous to look directly into his face (like most of the time when I have to have a conversation with a stranger). Therefore, I scaned the office instead.
His office is more like a little bedroom, with a single bed with white sheets and a fluffy looking pillow, a desk covered in papers, folders and medical gadgets, and a small closet. There is one shelf full of books and file holders, and the window looks out to a familiar avenue, the one where my faculty building is in. It’s autumn, the trees’ branches are still showing off their brown and yellow colored leaves, still crunchy but ready to die and fall to the ground. The noise of the cars driving through the avenue is muted thanks to the thick-looking glass that constitutes the window, and I can only hear the voice of my father’s doctor. He’s not Spanish, which makes his voice peculiar sounding. But he has a reassuring voice, and is never afraid to tell things clearly. He asks me if I understood what he meant with “tracheotomy”, “brain hemorrhage” and “hypertension”. I nod a few times, trying to hold my tears back. He then says the only thing we have to do is wait. More waiting.
I scan the office for the second time and stop at the corkboard right above the doctor’s desk. I saw her before, but I didn’t pay attention. I looked without looking, so to speak. There, in A4 form, Scarlett Johansson pouts at me. It’s almost as if she was saying “hi, your dad’s gonna be ok, look at my lips”.
I can’t help but smile, because I never really liked Scarlett. Yet she decided to be present at one of the most important events in my life. Hi, Scarlett. Welcome. Please, watch over my dad.
The rest of the day, I’m stuck thinking about Scarlett and the irony of it all. I think about the moment when my dad’s doctor put up that picture, almost like a schoolboy putting up a poster of his favorite football team. I think about his colleagues, going inside his office and seeing the picture, and maybe commenting about it. And I think about my dad, who never really knew who Scarlett is –but will certainly do when he gets out of this. I will make sure of it.