Friday, I'm in Pain
I thought we white people had pretty much poked our grubby fingers into just about every pie in Kriston's historically black, gentrifying neighborhood. But when the big hurt came on Friday night (don't ask; it's gross and embarassing. not even for you, Matty), I discovered that the last institution in a neighborhood to gentrify is undoubtedly the hospital. There are a lot of white people living in the area these days, but not a one was to be found at the local ER. Do white people not hurt themselves? Do they whisk themselves off to Georgetown after a good friday night's alcohol poisoning? I was the sole representative of my pale brethren until a construction worker came in the next morning with a lacerated hand. It would have been something to ponder, had I not been writhing in agony. Shouldn't the demographics of a neighborhood hospital roughly correspond to the demographics of the neighborhood? It's okay, white people! They're generous with the demerol here!
Besides, there's a great entertainment value to a hospital teetering on the unsteady border between yuppy candyland and urban blight land. Had I been relaxing in the tony environs of Georgetown Hospital, say, I'm sure the only conversations I'd overhear would be "Dreadfully sorry to bother you, miss, but I seem to have stumbled over my piles of money and now my driving foot is a bit cramped. Could you spare, perhaps, a vial or two of elephant tranquilizer? That's a dear."
Instead, I get to listen to the gentleman next to me who I named "Massive Head Injury Joe." The fuzz brought him in and he had a nasty slice in his head of indeterminate origins.
"WHA' HAPPENED TO MY HEAD?" MHIJ would screech.
"We're not sure, sir, do you remember?"
"I FELL. I FELL ONNA STREET."
"Sir, please hold still. Sir. You can't keep moving around, you'll injure your neck. Sir, please, we can't get a read."
"GET THAT GODDAMNED SHIT OUTTA ME! I CAN'T SWALLOW! WHAT'S GOIN ON?"
Then Shaky Joe tottered in (I named all of them Joe), and he smelled pretty foul and he needed a drink something awful. It was kind of sad watching him try to dress himself despite his violent tremors, but it was also kind of gross and I wish Shaky Joe knew to shut the curtain.
However, I would like to note the insufficient space that the hardworking staff suffers. There are not nearly enough rooms for patients. Somebody got themselves shot, and thus earned dibs on my room. I was shuttled from my comfortable room into the hallway with the invalids and Joes, where we all happily moaned and thrashed our limbs in our best imitation of a 18th century insane asylum. Minus the hay and the fecal matter. I hope...