I finally went for my doctor’s appointment.
I had been putting it off for weeks. The physician, lets call him Dr. Coco Nuts, had approached me on his bike. He himself a healthful man, first saw me on the run, sweating and racing for home. He rode his bike along side my punished stride.
Our conversation when a little like this:
“Hey pretty laydeeeee! I am Doctah Coconut and I am here to help yah health!”
I, in severe gastrointestinal distress, after a day of making homemade hot sauce and sampling more than my share, thought, “Oh my god, please do not come any closer. I can’t even think.”
He came closer. My manners and not my bowels made me respond, as he showed me a fresh green coconut cut open and seeping its milk. “No thank you. I am not feeling well right now.” I hoped that the wave of my hand would make him go away.
Instead, it opened the door.
“Well if you feeling bad, coconut is jus da ting.”
Quickly I said “If I drank that it would go right through me.”
The door swung wider. Oh why do I keep talking?
“I don’t know who you been talking to but dis will help you. You need one now. Great for da kidneys.” said the doctor.
“Doctor Coconut. I really don’t need one. Thank you.”
I saw my sweat drip on the pavement. I felt bad. I did not want to be rude but needed to run.
“Doctor Coconut pardon me but if you don’t move I will let it all out right here.” He biked away in a jiffy.
That was four weeks ago.
Dr. Coconut is a long lean man with a cheerful smile and happy demeanor. I saw him each day on my walk home after days filled with food interviews and tours. He has a small stand at the gate of the Tourist Village in Belize City. A large cooler filled with ice and fresh coconuts awaits each tourist that passes by.
Each day he would say, “Hey there pretty lady! Today is your day!” and everyday, I would reply, “Not today!” I winced out of embarrassment.
Today was different. I said yes.
“Yes Doctor! I’ll have coconut water.” He rode his bike up to me and took my hand like a knight on a mount. “I have an ice cold one for this hot day to refresh you.”
He threw a fresh icy coconut my way. I inspected it and threw it back.
He deftly cut the top off with the two machetes he pulled from the stand. He let me pick my own straw. Three Belizean dollars later, I was sipping the promise of four weeks of deference- four weeks of picking up the pace to avoid having to discuss that socially awkward moment. It was cold, slightly sweet and tart, and all-delicious.
I found out that my illness was all in my head.
Doctor Coconut didn’t care. He wanted me to buy a coconut.
Dr.Coconut and his partners can be found in the Tourism Village of the Fort George Neighborhood in Belize City. They sell fresh coconuts with or without rum on Cruise ship days, Mon-Thursday.
Kristin Fuhrmann Simmons