The Awful Waiting Room

This waiting room plays music, nice jazz music over the intercom. The saxophone player is simply brilliant in this piece. He reminds you of your friend, who plays saxophone in the school band, except this musician is much more talented. Not to mention recorded and probably famous. The music is soothing; it blocks the typing sounds of the clerks’ keyboards and the chattering of the secretaries. One woman says the another, in seeming disbelief, “a whole week?” The other responds with, “are they crazy?” Your ears turn back to the droning jazz music.

The rectangular room has off-white walls, probably painted purposefully to avoid the stereotypical image of a hospital. There are scrapes and dirt on the walls from the arms of chairs, chairs that are an awful maroon colour with no cushion whatsoever. The carpet is the same awful maroon colour and gives off the same dreadful appearance. If they are shooting for a comfortable look, they certainly failed.

A cancer patient sits across from you. The only reason you know she is a cancer patient is because her head is shaved and she’s openly talking to her husband sitting next to her about her blood work and her latest MRI. Realistically, she might not be a cancer patient. But you feel that most cancer patients fit this woman’s description. Now you start to feel guilty for stereotyping this woman. She is rather loud. The man who was sitting next to her husband just got up to move to a farther seat. He is obviously feeling annoyed at the volume of the cancer patient’s conversation with her husband. The waiting room suddenly feels cramped.

The husband of the cancer patient says to his wife, “maybe it’ll be good if they drill some holes in ya” and laughs. She chuckles earnestly and replies, “you’re right! Maybe they’ll finally pick out them stupid boulders in my brain.” You straighten yourself in your seat and realise you’ve been staring at the same page of this October 2005 ESPN magazine for over 15 minutes. You start to feel nauseas and so you lean against the wall next to you. The cancer patient smiles at her husband and says, “do you think they can stop the bleeding today? It’s really starting to become a bother.” You shove your body into the wall. This is awesome.





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