July 20, 2009

Please Give the Man Some Health Care

And the health care debate rages on. I am so totally down with a public option that even Marxists think I'm a leftie. A lot of this support for universal health care has to do with my little adventure a year ago at Large County Hospital in Dallas. I'm relatively sure that county hospitals across the land are all equally cheerful and invite the same sort of cultured and genteel clientele, but if you know anything about county hospitals in Dallas, you know one of Dante's circles is called "Parkland."

A little over a year ago, Krispy Dude was stricken by the karmic meteor known as Random Violent and Incapacitating Accident, which planted his happy ass in Parkland for almost two weeks. This was a not a fun time. And the deets of his incapacitation, hereafter known as The Unpleasantness, are best left on the cutting room floor.

But the Disneyland experience of Parkland itself cannot be underestimated...it is a sort of Land of the Lost, with stethoscopes. You have your gunshot victims, your stabbing victims, your car accident victims, your domestic violence victims, a whole fucking Mall of America-sized wing devoted to headed-straight-for-welfare-teen moms, and your little assorted and sundry junkies homing in on the methadone clinic.

So this one night, really late--I'm talking like 11:00 p.m. late--I'm leaving Krispy Dude's room on the eighth floor to head to my car and home. I've been waiting for what seems like hours/days/weeks/a fucking really long time for the elevator, and imagining in my head that the elevator is so slow because it is not run by some sophisticated system of electronics and gears and technological wizardry, but instead is managed by a hunchbacked dwarf with a rope and some pulleys in a bell tower somewhere...that or one of those big round wheel-like things that you hook horses to and they walk around and around and around in circles for their whole lives, pulling or pushing or grinding or turning some lever or wheel or pulley.

Finally, the elevator arrives and I'm so tired I step on without thinking or paying attention...only to find myself face-to-face with Scary Junkie. Scary Junkie has clearly just come from the methadone clinic or the pharmacy or somewhere where there are A LOT of drugs, and he is very, VERY pissed that he did not receive any of this bounty. At this point, it is far too late for me to get off the elevator...I'm already inside and have reached for the "1" button. Yeah, yeah...if I had bigger balls, I could easily have turned around and walked out because the God damned elevator door was as slow to close as the thing was slow to arrive. But I do not have balls that big. I was raised a nice southern girl, and to exit an elevator because Scary Junkie is the lone tenant, well...that would be RUDE, and rudeness in the south is pretty much an unforgiveable.

So, I made myself as teeny and unassuming and invisible as possible and snuck over to hide in the far corner of the elevator, way the hell away from Scary Junkie, and cursed the system that put Krispy Dude on the EIGHTH FUCKING FLOOR. And of course it took no time at all for Scary Junkie to begin his routine, at which point it became clear that he was Scary ANGRY Junkie. He started his rant, his eyes wild and his six-haired goatee just fucking fascinating to watch as he addressed me, his dead grandmother, and the pretty pink unicorn with the rainbow colored tail standing in front of him. "Those motherfucking doctors gave my motherfucking girlfriend a motherfucking shot of methadone and they DID NOT GIVE ME MY MOTHERFUCKING SHOT TOO! THEY ARE MOTHERFUCKERS!"

And I'm standing there, mouth frozen in this ridiculous rictus grin like I'm either (a) totally happy for his girlfriend who did indeed receive her motherfucking shot, or (b) totally finding his not-getting-a-motherfucking-shot situation hilarious, and my brain is screaming to itself, "What if he thinks it's (b)?!? What if he thinks it's (b)?! Stop with the smiling, you pathetic chickenshit--eyes front, EYES FRONT!!" And even the religious skeptic that is me is suddenly praying as hard as I can that the fucking dwarf with the rope in the bell tower has not gone on break, because the elevator is moving so slowly it's leaving a slime trail.

Scary Junkie's rant continues for floor after floor as we descend, while over in the corner my smile and prayers and screaming brain have rendered me practically catatonic. Finally--finally--the little "1" above the door lights up and a bell dings and the God damned doors crawl open like lava running uphill. I'm still crouched in the corner and while I desperately want to claw those doors apart and run like hell, I decide again that it would be rude, not to mention the fact that in order to accomplish this, I would have to hurdle an addict so wound up, gesticulating and gyrating so wildly, that Joe Cocker would be in awe. Probably best, I figure at this point--brain returning to normal function now that safety and a uniformed guard are in sight--to let Scary Junkie get off the elevator first, which I do...but before he leaves, he turns around and with those little bubbles of rant-spit collecting in the corners of his mouth, he screams at me and the unicorn, "I AM GOING TO SUE EVERY MOTHERFUCKING DOCTOR IN THIS PLACE FOR NOT GIVING ME MY SHOT!!!!!!!"

And because I have no balls, I wait until he is far, far away before I give him a cheerful wave and wish him good luck with all that.

Posted by Krispy_Kreme at July 20, 2009 09:20 PM

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Comments

Oh, my... and I thought my few hours at Brack was bad when I had an accident.

In case you're wondering, it was this part...
>>>

Finally--finally--the little "1" above the door lights up and a bell dings and the God damned doors crawl open like lava running uphill. I'm still crouched in the corner and while I desperately want to claw those doors apart and run like hell, I decide again that it would be rude, not to mention the fact that in order to accomplish this, I would have to hurdle an addict so wound up, gesticulating and gyrating so wildly, that Joe Cocker would be in awe.

That actually caused me to laugh out loud and alert my office that I was not really working.

Posted by: mcblogger [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2009 11:04 AM

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