Morocco, Interrupted

To the Doctor

Hello Doctor,

I regret the fact that I never had the chance to say goodbye to you. The last time I saw you, I told you that I wasn’t sure when I would be back. I warned you that I might not see you for a few weeks due to a quarantine, but I didn’t anticipate never seeing you again. I want to thank you for your kindness, your warming and welcoming smile even when Anthony and I showed up to your pharmacy 20 minutes late. I miss visiting your quaint chestnut shelves, your desktop computer with Google translate pulled up, and your all-things-pharmacy textbook completely in French.

I am back in Aroostook County, Maine. If you were ever to visit, you’d find it to be a strange place; most people do. Depending on the season, you’ll see bulky men with long beards in grocery stores with stained orange gear. You’ll find people out riding motor vehicles for the fun of it, with no destination in mind. Piles of snow won’t be gone until late May, sometimes June. In the summer you’ll see fields upon fields of starchy plants. Here potatoes are such a beloved vegetable we have a festival when they blossom in the summer. Yes, Aroostook County may be a place filled with hillbillies, potatoes, fiddleheads, and thick accents, but it has my heart and will be my home forever.

My day-to-day routine has been the same over the last 8 days. I wake up earlier than my dad; sometimes my dog might be next to me. I gaze out my bedroom window and admire the snow and ice on my gray shingled roof. I get up, pour myself a bowl of cereal if I decide I’m too hungry to wait for dad’s bacon and eggs. I turn on the morning news, get on my computer, check my emails, do some online homework, exercise, shower, and then I usually end up watching a movie with my dad sometime throughout the day or in the evening. It’s a predictable schedule; but having something predictable in these times of unpredictability and the unknown is actually a bit refreshing.

I’m finding it much more difficult to study from home. I always suspected this to be the case, which is part of the reason why I never wanted to be a commuter student. There are so many more distractions here between my dog, the comfort of my home, cable TV, friends asking to meet up, and my dad constantly asking to go for drives or to watch a movie. I can’t lie and say I don’t like being home; I do.  But at the same time, I miss my friends from school.

I hope you and your family are staying safe in Tangier. As an essential worker, it is even more crucial that you protect yourself as best you can. Getting people the medication they need to survive and stay healthy is crucial, and you are even more appreciated during this time. Take care.

Best Regards,

Hunter St. Pierre

Hunter St. Pierre is a Biochemistry major at the University of New England.

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