The Waiting Game
I was in the waiting room. I was nervous. The walls were all white-- bright white. Uniform. Stark and crisp and clean. No crayon. No fingerprint smudges. No chipping or peeling. Just cold and white and perfectly ordinary. No blood. Blood? Whose blood? No, no blood.
The doors were wood, the light kind that showed its natural tiger stripes. The metal push bar that was cold and creaked and groaned when you pressed it, the ones you leaned your body into when your hands were full and it scratched your back through the fabric of your clothes because it was too heavy. The bright red exit sign floated above one of the doorways. Scarlet red. Blood red. Escape escape escape. No, just red. Exit.
The overhead lights were florescent. Too white. Unnatural. They left short black shadows all over the room, under eyes and lengthening noses and morphing faces. Under chairs where shadows danced to squeaky chair tunes. No, no dancing. It was still. The shadows didn’t dance. Dead shadows. Hospital shadows. Too much death in hospital shadows, hospital beds.
The chairs were blue. Dark blue. Dusty blue. Why always blue? Itchy, scratchy blue. Plastic armrests that were just as soft as the chair cushioning. They didn’t want to be sat in. I got up and sat and up and sit. Up and down and here and there and bitter free hospital coffee. Squeaky floors with scuff marks. Someone wanted to go. Time to go. No, not yet. Stay.
The plastic wrapped around the bouquet was crinkling. My palm was sweaty. Hot hot. Daisies and chrysanthemums and baby’s breath. Lots of flowers. Flowers for her when she comes back from surgery. She’s allergic to flowers. I didn’t tell them. No, she needs them. Flowers for her if she comes back. The stems were getting crushed. Wilting flowers. No, not the flowers, just the stems. Ugly bouquet.
I was waiting. Come out, come out wherever you are. No, don’t. Don’t come back. Hospitals are full of death. Hospitals are for the dead. Dead dead dead.