Monday, April 11, 2011

Nurse Jane

Once when I was four or five my mother had to go to the hospital for surgery on her foot. She has this problem, see, she was born with it backwards and recently she had discovered she had an extra bone moving everything in her foot around, so she went for surgery. Dad had to fill out some forms so he brought Ana and me along. Ana plopped down and got lost in her book, and after a couple of failed attempts to get her attention I decided to wander around.













I looked around for a while until I came across a closed door. Most of the doors were open, empty rooms, but this one was closed. I opened it and found a doctor suit inside.I was a moving blob of fabric with a head. Some woman nearly had a second heart attack that day when she saw me outside in the hall so I walked in and kept her company until a nurse arrived.


NURSE: Hello, little girl. How are you?

ME, DELIRIOUS LOOK ON MY FACE AND NOT UNDERSTANDING: ...


NURSE: How old are you?


ME: *Still not understanding* ...


NURSE: Who's your mommy?


ME: *Silence* ...


NURSE: Okayy...


The nurse telephoned the front desk to find Dad while I calmly held the woman with the heart attack's hand. The lady, named Mary Parker, was very sweet. She was 87 years old and had been having heart problems her entire life. I told her about Mom's foot and she recommended something called 'acupuncture'. I filed the information in my head as she told me a story.

It was a fascinating story. About her life when she was little. The nurse hung up the phone just as she finished telling the story about how she had met her recently-deceased husband selling flowers when she was six. The nurse said that no children were reported missing in the last five hours and they had no clue who my father was. She also said that I could help out. She dug through seventeen boxes and four closets but she finally found a uniform and hat my size. Immediately I rushed off, and though nobody told me to I ran into the kitchen and jumped on the counter I grabbed a mug and poured orange juice into it (Mrs. Parker had told me she loves orange juice and peanut butter toast) and then I toasted a piece of bread until it was golden brown and smothered it in peanut butter. Then, like an adult, I calmly walked with the tray back to Mrs. Parker's room.
Mrs. Parker was delighted and gobbled the toast up. I left her in peace and wandered around the building. Then I came out to the garage and climbed into an ambulance. Suddenly, two large men jammed themselves into the truck and started driving away. I heard the siren, and I tried to get out but we were already rolling. I saw the way cars moved to let us through and I thought it was because I was so important, but then we screeched to a stop. I climbed up into the front seat and saw them loading a man onto a stretcher and a car stopped five feet away from him, he'd been hit by a car. I was so frightened when they loaded him up, and once the ambulance man saw me and saw my suit, he let me keep the injured man company. And I found my hat, too. (I'd lost it before when I first climbed in)
The man's spirit had been lifted and when we got back to the hospital the woman said that his name was Derek Portis and he was 39 and he had brightened up so much that it would take a much shorter time for him to recover. I promised I'd visit him. I did my job well, I even supervised a surgery...
Met some new friends...
And I had returned to Dad and Ana just in time.


Ah, forget it.


He'd never believe me anyway.


--Jane

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