Thursday, February 22, 2024


After the ritual recitations of intake with the friendly receptionist (“Name? And could you tell me your date of birth? Any new cough or fever? Exposure to anyone with COVID in the last fourteen days? Any international travel?”), and after having given the appropriate responses, I am admitted to the waiting area.

The un-color beige of the carpeting is soothing, and makes no impression whatsoever, save to create the understanding of a space where a floor should be, on which to strategically place long, comfy  couches and low, easy-to-get-out-of chairs. Almost every couch has a couple on it, one member of whom is closed-eyes or napping, head fallen back in the abandon of exhaustion, while the other taps on their phone, lines of habitual worry or concentration unconsciously furrowing their brow.

The hospital leaves out large, clear plastic bins filled with single-serving packets of graham crackers, because they soothe the stomachs of chemo patients, and I grab a small handful of them to nibble on while I’m waiting, even though they aren’t really for me

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