Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Theme and variations upon a hospital.

After they take your son to the procedure room, you'll have hours. You know you'll have hours. That sunny window, looking over the valley--that's a good place to spend the hours, because you can watch the big stacked clouds shape shift in a sea of blue. You can look up and see the furthest mountains in the west, and the inland sea.

And you can just stay there looking out that window, looking up to catch the sun glinting off your face, your glasses. Because if you wander far from the waiting room just outside the procedure room, how will they find you? Even if they have your cell phone number, what if there's no reception? What then?

You will have brought your work with you. But the hospital is not a great place for work. There is so much worry and conspicuous soothing and lots and lots of waiting.

That music from the lobby below, made on a variety of pipes? Is that supposed to help?

So many white-haired people, couples, waiting.

The best part is when they tell you everything went better than fine--when the person at the front desk is on the phone figuring stuff out, but then you see the doctor coming optimistically toward you, with a lift in his step. That's one best part. Another best part is when you go back, and your son is awake and already funny again, and they're bringing him ice water and then crackers.

And then they tell you he can go home that very night.

You can text everyone. You can fill the prescriptions. You can go down the patient elevator with the wheelchair guy. You can leave the hospital, just drive away, as if you will never come back.

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