April 16, 2018

waiting room

They've taken her back and I'm in the waiting room.

She said it's a simple procedure and shouldn't take too long.

I'm restless and before choosing a chair in the sparsely populated room, I go over and make myself a tiny foam cup of coffee with powdered creamer and Splenda packets and coffee dispensed from a push-top carafe.  The finished product is sour and I make a face, but I keep drinking it.  I didn't sleep well.

I select a chair next to an end table and out of anyone's direct view, and sit and arrange my possessions, the tart coffee on the table and my computer bag and purse beside me.  I pull out Lord of the Rings and join the battle in the Pelennor Fields again, stab the King of Angmar with Merry, feel Eowyn's arm go numb, hear Theoden's last words to Eomer, and then I'm jerked back into reality by an elderly couple nearby.  They are sharing a publication and saying back and forth to each other, "Boy Scout Mega-Camp."  He says it to her, and then she says it to him.  They say it seven times in total, then lapse back into silence.  He has a hearing aid.

I return to my book and shift the position of my feet.  My shoes make it uncomfortable to sit cross-legged in the chair, but I do it anyway, and feel the Velcro buckles biting into my calves.  This is a posture of drawing in and self-defense.  I have a complete lack of control over what they are doing to P.J. in the back of the building.  I make myself compact in the chair and draw my arms in, hold my book closer.

Frodo and Sam cross Mordor slowly, dust in their mouths.  The seconds and minutes creep by, the ring heavy around Frodo's neck.  The clock in the waiting room is deficiently slow.  Except that it agrees with my phone's clock.  Sam finds a tiny creek and refills their precious skin with water that is foul-tasting but safe to drink.  I get a second cup of coffee.  It's colder now and this does not improve it.

By now the procedure must be well under way.  I notice I'm gently rocking back and forth, but no one can see me.

A man begins to open the door, peeks in, realizes he is in the wrong place, backs out and closes the door.

Faramir stares east from the wall in the garden outside the Houses of Healing of Minas Tirith and waits.  It is all he can do.

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