Good morning friends!
The year is 404 BC, the location is Kos, an island off of Greece and I have no idea how I got here. I decide to explore my new surroundings.
While initially, I am eager to discover this city bathed in marble, I slowly become more and more alarmed by the fact that the streets are barren. I make my way to the closest edifice.
Having entered, I crane my head to the almost miraculous vaulted roofs adorned with murals of people reading. Ahh, the library! It’s empty. I skim The Clouds, a comedy by Aristophanes before I leave the building.
(It is HILARIOUS!)
My head on a swivel for speeding chariots carrying Charlton Heston, I make my way across the dusty, gravel street to a thermae (large, imperial Greek bath complex). Nobody.
The kapileion (wine bar)? Nothing but half-full glasses of wine (half-full, not half-empty, get it?). I grab a handful of tragemata as I saunter back outside.
At this point, I am pretty confident I have exhausted all of my options. I am resigning myself to the fact that my only friend for the rest of eternity is going to be this modestly plump Aegean cat (I name her Hygieia) that took to me along the way. Then, I notice a property about a stade (180 metres) off in the distance.
As I approach, I realize that this building is immaculate, standing firm on 4 massive pillars of solid limestone. I can start to make out a few symbols that are etched on each of the pillars.
The first pillar has physical activity symbols etched into the marble, like this.
The second pillar has symbols of health and education
The third pillar has symbols of social connection.
The fourth pillar, images of the sun, grass, trees, etc – aha, nature.
Staring up at the pillars, I make out the faint sound of laughter, as I feel a comfortable warmth spread throughout my being. Maybe there are others here, after all?
I make my way up the white marble steps and putting my legs and chest into it, I’m able to propel open the heavy marble doors. Before I can say anything I’m greeted by a beautiful woman in a brilliant white toga. She has the most generous of smiles and her name is Arleneus.
“Why, Davidus, you are just in time. The registration table is right over here.” She points across her body to a Carrara marble table.
As I head over to grab my stylus and inscribe on the wax tablet, another woman named Phyllisius entertains me with tales of the new pottery set she’s finalizing.
As Phylilisius is using hand motions to describe her newest bowl, a gentleman steps upon a massive Macael marble platform.
He welcomes everyone and introduces himself as Hippocrates.
Ummm??? Did he say, Hippocrates?!
No way! Super cool.
He doesn’t look like any physician I’d ever seen. He’s in street clothes, a regular toga, just like the rest of us. (Side note: these togas are quite comfortable and wonderfully freeing)
Hippocrates speaks quite casually to the group. I’d say, it’s more of a conversation.
He’s talking about the ongoing bubonic plague that the town crier has been blaring on about over the past few weeks. He reminds everyone that it’s important to keep doing what they’re doing if they want to stay healthy.
Excuse me… PLAGUE!?
After a few minutes of talking, Hippocrates shares, “And now fellow Grecians, it’s time for us to partake in the miracle drug!”
Everyone starts clapping.
Certainly, better than throwing rocks and tomatoes (which they also are known to have done).
The group, many with gorgeous smiles (the Greeks had fantastic teeth despite lack of fluorine), heads out the front door together, smiling, laughing, and chatting as they break off into small groups of 4 or 5. They don’t even seem concerned about the PLAQUE that Doctor Hippocrates just mentioned.
Me on the other hand? I’m freaking out.
What is this miracle drug the wise, wise Greeks are talking about?
Where do I get it?
What’s the co-pay?
HOW DO I MAKE SURE I DON’T DIE FROM THE PLAGUE?
Gregicius, a fellow walker, notices my panic. He turns to me with a smile, points his finger above my head, and says “Davidus, chill out man. Just turn around. Take a look”.
I do turn around and see that I had missed one of the carvings on the front of the building. I pull out my iPhone -572 to help translate the Greek text.
‘Walking is man’s best medicine’
Suddenly, I sit bolt upright in bed. Sweat pouring down from my brow. I wipe the moisture from my eyes and look at my HP IPAQ and see the date: October 5, 2004.
I turn to my wife.
“Krissy, I just had a crazy dream.”
“Was it the one about the breakdancing otter?”
“No, not that one. I think this one gave me an important idea!
“David, how many times do I have to tell you? We’re not flooding the basement so you can practice your cannon balls in the winter.”
“No, no. It’s something different. Are we free on April 9th? I’m thinking about inviting some patients to take a walk with us at the park…”
David (with inspiration from Bryan!)
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