INTROVERT: I don’t feel so good.
DOCTOR: What are your symptoms?
INTROVERT: Well, I don’t like talking very much. But writing is okay. And people make me feel tired, like I want to take a nap. Also, I like to be alone. (Pause.) I mean, I really like it.
DOCTOR: Okay, but are you ill?
INTROVERT: Most of the time, no, but then sometimes I get this funny feeling in my stomach, like I’m trying to do yoga after eating a Big Mac.
DOCTOR: Are you eating a Big Mac when this happens?
DOCTOR: What are you doing when you get the stomach problems?
INTROVERT: Nothing. Just thinking (Pause.) and not talking. Maybe looking at my phone.
DOCTOR: Hmmm. Did you bring in that urine sample the nurse asked for?
INTROVERT: Yes, one sec. (Reaches into his bag and pulls out a urine sample in a small plastic container.) Here.
DOCTOR: (He dips a test strip into the urine sample, and places it on a paper towel.) Let’s take your blood pressure. (Attaches a blood pressure cuff and takes a reading.) 119/80. Very good. Now, open up.
INTROVERT: That’s another problem. I’m not very good at opening up. I guess I just don’t like talking about myself.
DOCTOR: No, I mean open your mouth and say “ah”.
INTROVERT: Oh. (Opens mouth.) Aaaaah.
DOCTOR: (He presses down INTROVERT’s tongue with a tongue depressor, peers inside his mouth.) Hmmm. Okay. (Goes to glance at the urine test strip, and then sits). I think I see the issue.
INTROVERT: You do?
DOCTOR: You’re an introvert.
INTROVERT: You can tell that from my urine?
DOCTOR: No, of course not. I noticed the book in your inside pocket and the headphones around your neck.
INTROVERT: Is there a cure?
DOCTOR: No. No need. But there are some ways to cope with the symptoms you described. Let me write you a prescription.
Take 2 doses of solitude daily.
Increase your intake of books and Netflix.
Avoid contact with chatty extroverts on Sunday, Monday, Friday, and any day after 5pm.
Avoid operating heavy machinery while under the influence of small talk.
INTROVERT: What about my stomach issues?
DOCTOR: I think I know what’s going on. What’s your phone number?
INTROVERT: I don’t see what that has to do with —
DOCTOR: Please. Just trust me.
(DOCTOR pulls out his mobile phone and dials.)
INTROVERT: (Picking up his ringing phone.) Um, hello?
DOCTOR: Hey, just calling to chat. How’s your day going? What are you up to?
INTROVERT: I feel sick.
DOCTOR: Yep, just as I thought. (Grabs prescription and adds a line.)
*AVOID THE PHONE.
INTROVERT: Thanks, doc, really. I don’t know what to say.
DOCTOR: That’s normal for introverts. Just write me an email.
INTROVERT: I love you.
INTROVERT: I mean —
DOCTOR: It’s okay. Just follow the prescription instructions and you’ll be fine.
INTROVERT: Doc, just one more thing. (Pause.) You’re not gonna, you know … do that again, are you? Because that was pretty awkward.
DOCTOR: The urine test? No, we’re all good there.
INTROVERT: No, I mean … (Gestures toward the doctor’s phone.)
DOCTOR: Call you? No, don’t worry, I won’t be doing that again either.
INTROVERT: (A sigh of relief.) Thanks, doc. Really.