1984. That was weird. We were at the hospital. Mom on a gurney. Very cold. I get her another blanket. Why do they always keep hospitals so cold? Is cold associated with cleanliness? Probably. But here I sit, waiting. And there she is waiting for what? Some sort of x ray I think. Not MRI [unreadable]. I’m staring at the line of gurneys along the wall: airplanes lined up waiting to take off.
Except this gurney line ain’t moving. Mom’s starting to complain. I’ve been staring at a white coat an intern left on a clothes rack by the gatekeeper.
I don’t think the lady gatekeeper had ever looked up into my face when I asked several times how much long. I mean, we were in the bowels of the building. And she writing names in a book, and looking bored as hell. A weird place to work, I remember thinking. She even had some sort of green visor on. Or might have.
It was easy to take the white coat from the hanger. I didn’t even read the name tag. But it did have a picture of the doc on it; I stuck that part under mask I had found. I’m sure I was influenced by M*A*S*H.
I approached her desk and cleared my throat. She looked up, noticed the jacket , mask and the name and said, Yes Doctor.
Mrs. Beckerman (I motioned towards where mom was) has been down here for over an hour and a half. She needs to be seen stat.
Mom is on the gurney facing the wall, with a serious look on her chubby face. She could appreciate this caper like no one else in the family.
Yes, sir, Lady Bored says. Of course, she just goes to the one lower down the food chain, in this case an orderly, and yells at him about how long Mrs. Beckerman has been in that hallway.
I put the jacket back. She was seen ten minutes later.
Life is based on our Uniforms