Waiting: to remain or rest in expectation. My perpetual state of late. Suspended in time, ever expecting. The restlessness is unbearable. My doctor just sent me to the labs for a blood test. We need to eliminate all other factors before we can confirm your diagnosis he says.
This might be one of the most depressing waiting rooms I’ve ever been in. Everything is washed out, even the air. The walls are painted with this bland shade of white (probably tainted with the despair of the room’s occupants) a hybrid grey-teal, and some other indistinguishable colour. I spend five minutes trying to decide if it’s green or brown. This room does not reassure me. I want to know beyond a reasonable doubt that I am in a place where I will receive the best possible care. So far I am not convinced. The receptionist’s counter has a widening chip on the bottom right corner. Exposed copper piping travels across the room, birthed from a jagged hole in the ceiling. The posters, drained of color from exposed light, barely cling to the walls.
This is the place where hope comes to die.
The man next to me is groaning incessantly. Or humming off tune. I can’t tell the difference. They call out his number – I had a quick glance when I sat down next to him.
He rocks back and forth.
I give him a slight nudge and he springs out of his chair.
How did she know my number his eyes betray.
I’ll let him think I’m psychic for now.
He walks up to the counter and drops his forms. I wonder what he’s here for. He picks up his groaning as soon as he’s back in his seat. I should feel sorry for him. He might be in pain. Aren’t we all? But I don’t. I just sit there, slightly annoyed by his cacophonous mumbling.
I try and tune him out. A baby three chairs away starts to cry. I know he’s not here to get his lungs checked out. His mother covers him with her cheap sweater and offers a tit. His mouth is busy for the next five minutes. They call my number out but I’m too busy cursing the forces of the universe to pay attention. The receptionist almost skips me but I quickly come back down to Earth. I give her my health card and she directs me to the doctor’s office. The walls are decked with the same dreary colour trio. Oh joy.
The nurse attends to me rather quickly. I whisper a small apology to the forces of the universe as I roll up my sleeve. She tourniquets my arm and looks for a vein. It is abnormally pale today so her mission quickly bears fruit. She dabs on alcohol and finally it truly hits me: I am in a clinic. Suddenly, I am six years old in Les Bleuets hooked up to an IV. I dread what is coming next. I can see the needle. Memories of the sharp sting race through my mind. The pain is not the problem. I welcome it. It is what this needle represents: it means something is wrong. I look like everyone else but inside something is not right. I need fixing. This, I fear. The needle pierces through skin. I watch as my blood rushes out of me, eagerly filling the vials.
I wonder how long it would take to drain a small woman.
The nurse wishes me a good day as she walks away with my blood. As I straighten myself up I can faintly hear the baby laugh. At least someone here is having a good day.
Two weeks they say. Two weeks and we’ll know what’s eating me.