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Why I’m here today…

I decided that I needed to get away from my house today if I was going to get any meaningful amount of studying done.  So, I came in to my office in the hospital.  I griped and pouted and complained all morning about this decision and even tried to convince myself that I could study at home; I knew this was not a possibility, however.  So here I am.

First order of business upon arriving was to head over to Starbucks.  Non-fat gingerbread latte (only 3 names this time).  As I stood at the bar waiting for my drink, I noticed a couple sitting at one of the tables.  They were about my age.  The man was very neatly and carefully slicing up a cake-like goodie on top of the Starbucks wrapper. Placed above that, and closer to the woman was a solitary drink.  The woman had nothing in front of her.  I looked up at her face; it was lost.  Her eyes were starting deeply at the table, searching it for some kind of answer to a very difficult, complicated question.  Her hands were supporting her chin, with her fingers pressing hardly into her fleshy cheeks, as if she needed to exert all her strength just to keep her head from falling into the table.  Her posture was telling: back erect, sitting on the edge of her chair, ankles crossed.

The man finished cutting up the goodie and slowly slid it towards the woman.  She looked at it, but only her eyes moved.  Then she looked up at me: I glanced for a moment too long, but she didn’t care.  I looked away and then my drink was ready.  As I got my lid and walked away I saw the women reach trepidatiously for a piece of cake and bring it ever slowly to her mouth.  She took a small bite, put it down, and slid it back to the man.

I know what that woman is feeling.  Well, I don’t exactly know, but I’ve been there before.  Waiting, in a hospital – trying to be normal.  I wondered what answer she was searching for on that black table.  Surgery? Emergency? ICU? Death?

And then I was thankful that the only reason I had to come to the Hospital on a cold Sunday morning was because I have to study.

3 thoughts on “Why I’m here today…

  1. Captivating. Your writing is captivating. You just told a story about a man cutting up a piece of cake, and it nearly brought me to tears. I agree with you, sometimes situations like that are a swift kick in the gut that we have so much to be thankful for!! It reminded me of a post I wrote awhile back after having to wait in a pediatric surgery waiting room for a few hours. It is sobering.

    Thanks for your simple story, written so beautifully! A good reminder.


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