So I haven't posted in a while. And at least four people this weekend complained about it. If I had anything interesting to say, I would have posted.
Actually, I have plenty interesting to say. I'm just not going to say it here.
I thought about just posting my response to Carrie's latest survey from MySpace, but I'm sure Mr. Stringer would post a comment something along the lines of: "Weak, PCP. Very weak." And I posted my answers a week ago, so it would kind of be a cop out. Instead, we'll go with Saturday Night at the ER Is an Interesting Place to Be.Saturday Night at the ER Is an Interesting Place to Be
We had a BBQ on Saturday for my friend Jen's 25th birthday. One of the highlights has to be swimming in the midst of a pouring rainstorm, lightning be damned.
At some point, Stephanie came running out of the club room calling my name. I went in to find Amy laid out on the concrete floor, a towel pressed to her bleeding chin, having slipped and fallen on that same concrete floor. One quick removal of the towel made it clear to all of us that a band-aid would not do the trick. Amy herself took a bit more convincing. Jen's logic of, "Go to the hospital: no scar. Don't go: scar. It's as easy as that." didn't quite work. But once Amy saw the cut for herself -- and what appeared to be tissue staring out from it -- she agreed to be taken.
The ER, as you might expect at 9-something on a Saturday night, was packed. We gave the triage nurse Amy's information and were summarily dismissed to the overflowing waiting room. We managed to grab three chairs for the four of us. We waited a few minutes. I went back to the triage nurse and pointed out that my friend was bleeding. "I don't see any blood," she said. I asked her if she was joking. "Bring her up here. I don't see it." So I brought her back up. The nurse opened the door to the back and said, "Come here, baby." She strapped a piece of gauze to Amy's chin and sent her back out to wait.
Sometime later, Steph and I went to the vending machines for diet Cokes and animal crackers. This is about the time that a child sitting catty-corner from me begins to pet me. Literally. He'd "sneak" over, as if I couldn't see his hand creeping at me, and start petting my leg. Then my arm. I moved closer into Stephanie in our shared seat, but the child was persistent. I finally said, "Can you please stop touching me?" to which his drunk/high father said, "He can't hear nothing. He's deaf." He grabbed the child by his arm and moved him to sit next to his younger brother. I asked if the child knew sign language. "No." "Read lips?" "No." "So how do you communicate with him?" The drunk/high father simply shrugged, then said, "He's autistic." as if that answered the question. The two children begin eyeing our animal crackers. We share.
Then, we buy them their own bag. These children were extremely thin. They ate four or five animal crackers with every bite. In between all of this, Vince (my new hero) and I take turns bugging the nurses to find out what's going on and where we stand on the list. We play Good Cop/Bad Cop. I am not the Good Cop. One of the nurses points out that she has gunshot wound victims waiting. I look around. I don't see anyone with a gunshot wound. I tell her this. She isn't interested. We don't even get checked in until we've been there an hour. Then, finally, we're called back to Minor Emergency.
Moments later, our new friends come there as well. Amy's name is called and she and Vince go up so she can answer some more questions. The petting child begins to make his way to us. I instinctively start to shrink into my chair. But he's not after me this time. He's after the diet Coke that Amy left sitting on the table. Just as he slyly went after petting me, he goes after the diet Coke. He grabs it without looking and starts guzzling it as a teenager might guzzle a beer snuck from a parent with his back turned. An older woman across the room who's talking to the father calls to us, "He can't help it. He doesn't know what he's doing." We nod; we understand. He looks at us. We tell him he can have the coke. He takes it. He goes back across the room and takes a Pop Tart from a woman.
Amy and Vince go in the back for her to be seen. When they come out, Amy has gone from crying to calm with five stitches across her chin. Vince has gone from calm to pale from having watched her get stitched up. We tell everyone in Minor Emergency goodbye. We go back to Brett and Stephanie's and eat Sun Chips.