Monday Motivation: Blood and laughter
She’s loud, she could very well have had a drink or two too many – and there seems to be nothing the matter with her. Which is puzzling, since we’re both in A&E at Bedford Hospital, along with thirty or forty others, some of them in a very bad way.
Let’s clear up what I was doing there. On the way to hospital in the ambulance, a burly paramedic casually informed me that my symptoms were those of someone suffering an attack of cellulitis. Before I had time to interrogate him, we arrived, I was bundled out into a wheelchair, and wheeled up into the waiting room .
My right foot is now perched on a chair. It’s swollen and red. I am waiting to be called through for a proper diagnosis and, hopefully, a cure.
Two seats along from me sits this loose-limbed, generously proportioned woman. She is very obviously not English. I know this not only because of her accent, which is vaguely Middle-Eastern, but because her first question to me is direct and to the point.
“What’s wrong with your leg?”
“They say, cellulitis.”
“What is cellulitis?”
I shrug. I want to know, too. But, grateful to her for having broken the ice, I return the compliment. “And what’s wrong with you?”
“Anxiety and depression,” she offers, demonstrating not a whit of either in tone or manner. And then, with a toss of her head, and without further prompting, adds, “I wanted to commit suicide.”
I’m not sure how to respond to this cheerful announcement. “I’m sorry,” I say but she doesn’t hear me because someone else on her left has caught her attention. It’s a man with a very bloody knee. He’s wearing on it a bandage that has not very successfully staunched the flow of blood, and on his face a very devilish grin.
“What was that?” she says sharply.
He leans forward. “Where do you live? Where’s your place?”
“Two blocks away,” she says. “Why do you ask?”
“I’m thinking,” he says slyly, “that we could go there…”
“You and me?” She’s astonished – and so am I, impressed by the directness of this Lothario’s approach. I wonder what her riposte will be. She seems a no-nonsense kind of woman, who won’t stand for cheek of any sort. But then her bosom shakes, she puts her head back, and she shrieks with laughter.
“We could go there now…” he repeats seductively.
“With your broken knee?” she splutters. “I wanted to commit suicide, and now look at me. I can’t stop laughing.” She smacks a prodigious thigh with the flat of her hand and breaks into more peals of laughter.
A nurse approaches briskly. “The doctor will see you now,” she says, taking hold of my wheelchair and whisking me away. The joyous sound of whole-hearted laughter is cut off abruptly as the doors into the engine room of A&E swing shut behind us.
PS – I’d love to hear what you think. Let me know in the comments section.