Monday, May 30, 2011

Comfort to strangers

A young man hiccups in the hallway. He must be twenty, twenty two perhaps. He sounds like any young dude, a little high or drunk, maybe. At first, he is so mild-mannered and casual I think he is a visitor or a hospital worker. He hiccups again.

He can't stop hiccuping. The nurse asks questions one after the other in her pert, accented voice, chirping almost merrily, "Can you take a deep breath for me? Do you smoke? How many packs a day? Does it hurt here? Where you from?" He talks of Hinsdale, Illinois - it's not clear what the connection is. Then suddenly he retches, painfully; gasps, and sobs.

With that, I know he's a patient.

"You okay?" asks the nurse. It is a rhetorical question, but he answers honestly, his voice breaking, "No. No, I'm not okay...." and his voice breaks. "I don't know where I am, am I in L.A?"

He retches again. "I'm just so tired of throwing up," he says, sobbing. "Will you hug me?"

The nurse laughs - and though she laughs it is nevertheless a laugh that holds great tenderness. "No, we can't hug you, but we'll take care of you. Here is your pillow, you hug your pillow."

5 comments:

JUAN FUENTES said...

Muchas veces tenemos que tomar desiciones que afectan a nuestros sentimientos,para ello nos cubrimos las manos para salvar nuestra paz interior

SALUDO JUAN

JUAN FUENTES said...

Muchas veces tenemos que tomar desiciones que afectan a nuestros sentimientos,para ello nos cubrimos las manos para salvar nuestra paz interior

SALUDO JUAN

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I need to remember that...I can always hug my pillow.
~

kcinnova said...

This is why I sleep with 3 pillows: a soft feather pillow for my head, a firm bulky pillow for between my knees (for my back), and a regular, comforting pillow to hug.

JCK said...

OH, I want to know what happened to him. Feel sad.