Wednesday, June 18, 2008

more from the house of hospice

Hey, here's the penultimate chapter in Jeff and my 'hospital' series. What will happen? Will god come in with an infected ear? Will Satan come in on a gurney from an overdose? Or will Davy Crockett jump into the cafeteria chanting "blood blood blood?" Who can say?


Luanne waited at the counter in the hospital pharmacy for Derrick the delivery man. It was around two. Lunch had settled. Her favorite song was playing in the background on the radio. This did not feel like an ordinary day at a hospital with rundown patients chomping bits of pills and saline. Luanne took that as a good thing, a favor from the universe, and took the time to bless her three children. She turned about and eyeballed the immense racks of blue and pink and purple and red and burgundy pills, capsules of good measure. Derrick the delivery man was her favorite of the men that came around dropping off supplies. He had white teeth barricading a luscious pink tongue. She fancied time away, with him, on the ocean, in the sand, crawling together. Her loneliness was excitement in her spine when Derrick came. Harold, her coworker, was too busy fooling about on the internet to notice her blush. He was solid as well, but married, and with children, and a boat in the backyard and all sorts of ivy league loans. He did not sit well in his chair. He did not thrill seek the forbidden realm of fantasy. Luanne tapped her toe on the rug; the song was nearly over. She wondered for the eighth time what kept the delivery at bay and retreated to the back room. The carpet reminded her too much of patient’s hair follicles and linoleum floor. In ten years, she planned to be away from this place. A dream came to mind.


She was in bed with her best girlfriend Jane. Jane was strange, a
loner, but ultimately a good person. Jane wanted to have sex with Luanne. They
were both naked and touching. Luanne felt uneasy and told Jane to stop. Luanne
crawled on her hands and knees out of the bed and toward a long rhombus
window. She looked out and saw an older couple drunk on cheap boxed wine
fighting on the sidewalk. "I'll kill you Thomas!"


Derrick arrived shining like a knight. His arms were smooth tusks of steel. A hat on his head, a brown shirt to match his skin, and darts for feet, sharp points that were loud, not noisy. Luanne made small talk, asking him of his dogs and the keen proposal with which he anchored his fiancé. Luanne blushed and leaned forward on the counter to be near the man. He was not interested in similar things as she, but he had noticed the hem of her blouse, the sag of her breasts. He noticed the weight of her thighs beneath her skirt. He bit his lower lip and she placed an arm upon a cardboard box. The hospital was very busy today, something in the air. His shaggy smile did not deter her. She wanted to shake his hand but refrained from doing so. He went out through the glass entry door as common as a gust of cold wind. Luanne watched him go, then began to daydream over the possibilities of stealing him away in the back of her car and driving for god-knows-where.


There was an obsidian sky. Large condors and lizards with jet packs
swooped over the heads of hundreds of people. Luanne thought she was alone but
she wasn't. The blood on her fingers was from her vagina. Another baby dead.
There was a choir of deep male voices chanting. She felt free and decided
to jump into a pool. There were 50 naked couples writhing and moaning scattered
all over the bottom of the pool. Luanne looked for a partner. She was alone
and covered in feathers.


The end of the day swung around nicely. Some orders to fill, dire needs of patient’s and the somber idea that she needn’t become dependent upon a single substance to survive. The desert island idea would be crimped if she had to fill a prescription monthly. Luanne began to think of all the conditions, the disorders, the quagmires and preponderances of the human condition. On her way to her car she did not think to wonder about her glasses and lenses. She fancied herself a superior human being. Her coworker Harold had an ulcer. He needed tiny white pills to kill his unease. Her ex-husband Phil had high blood pressure. It was red capsules for him. Lonely Luanne descended upon the road in her tiny coup with all force and fury. If she drove home fast enough and was lucky with the traffic, she might be in time to catch her favorite tv show at the beginning. She thought of her dog, she thought of the gold and orange sky and its immensity, she thought of a small apartment and a dark closet, and she thought of Derrick and his fiancé copulating in the shade of some elm

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