So I spent two days this week with a loved one in hospital in Montreal, Quebec. That was scary for a while, but the scary part is over now (knock wood) and I'm slowly coming down from all that stress.
What I'm starting to remember now are the little things that happened while I was focused on my own loved one's story.
The way the first-responder firefighters switched into French to debrief the paramedics.
The way the gurney's legs retracted as the bed platform slid into the ambulance.
The first intake guy at the hospital, who also talked with the paramedics in fluent French (while I, despite being non-fluent, tried to eavesdrop and read the medical notes he was making on the computer -- in French)...and then came over to us and said, in a clearly non-francophone accent, "How you doin', mate?" So completely unexpected that it almost made me laugh.
The tiny room where we saw the nurse, which had a second door opening onto a big lab (?) room...where people were joking and gossiping and carrying on just as if I wasn't sitting there next to a hospital patient and trying not to freak out.
The fact that my loved one was the youngest in the waiting room by about 50 years.
And then, in the ward...
A free short story by Erin Zarro
The office was huge. Open space, desks crammed together, no cubicles, or privacy, for that matter. The sounds of computer keyboards being typed on, phones ringing, and people talking made me want to go somewhere and hide.
This was my new job. It wasn't the perfect job, but I needed one and an opportunity had presented itself. Although, when I thought too hard about it, the details were fuzzy.
"Andi, so glad to see that you're here. Let me give you the tour." A woman with her hair in an elegant updo smiled and gestured for me to follow her. She wore a navy pantsuit. Her makeup -- blue eyeshadow and hot-pink lips -- clashed horribly with her choice of clothes. I tried not to stare. "My name is Leslie. I will be your supervisor."
I tried to smile, but that lipstick gave me a nervous twitch. "Nice to meet you."
My Head is Harder Than Your Wall
That's what I came up with. I was trying to think of something to write about, trying to think at all through the blasting of Lady Gaga two doors away as my kid took a forty-minute shower and I kept yelling at her about the water bill.
Remember MySpace? I was a late adopter. By the time I found my way to MySpace (mostly to exchange emails with a friend at work whose work email didn't like mine), people were starting to move to Facebook.
Anyway. My MySpace profile wanted a quote, and that was what I used. "My head is harder than your wall." Meaning you're not going to stop me. I'll just bang on obstacles until I get through.