"That guy is here because one of the dogs at PetSmart bit his face," I proudly announced to Matty
, somewhere around Hour 2 in the Hagerstown community hospital waiting room.
At that point, we were convinced that Matty would see a doctor any minute for his dislocated shoulder, an unfortunate skiing accident. My eavesdropping skills served as a "fun" diversion, while Matty sat there shirtless and shivering, adorned with a suspect gauze sling fashioned by the snow patrol.
"Does it feel weird to sit around without your shirt on?" I wondered.
"No," he said, "because I'm not fat," which unfortunately hurt us in the end. Hordes of fat people with labored breathing and tummies pouring over their elastic waist bands cut to the front of the emergency line.
We had plenty of time to recap the day's events. I remember asking the paramedics at the ski lodge's first aid center, "Is there room for me to ride in the back of the ambulance with him?"
One of Podunk's finest scratched his beer belly through a t-shirt, sucked his tooth to remove what I imagine was a piece of gristle leftover from his scrapple sandwich from lunch and said, "Welp, they'd probly let you ride up front if ya wanted ta."
"AWESOME!!!," I thought to myself, "Maybe they will let me flash the sirens."
I looked at Matty, laid out on a stretcher in his blue socky feet, wearing a look that said, "Just get me drugs as soon as possible."
The paramedic made our decision for us. "Of course, yins could always drive him to the hospital your own selves. It'd be quicker, and it might be a more comfortable ride for him. With a dislocated shoulder like that, he ain't gonna want ta be bouncin' around in the back."
, I guess I'll sacrifice a ride in an ambulance for Matty's comfort and safety. Gah."
We needn't have hurried.
Near Hour 5 of the emergency room wait, the conversation dried up to point that I asked Matty, "If you had to eliminate one food group, which one would it be?" (Dairy or grains, he decided, by the way. I went for meat. This question may have actually been a step up from, "If you had to live without nipples or a belly button, which would it be?" We were divided on that one.)
We left the hospital with Matty not so much "healed" as placated with a prescription for pain pills.
While we waited for our skiing compatriots who would safely get us back home, we trudged through the streets of Hagerstown in search of our version of utopia: a Mexican restaurant called El Paso that offered drinks and food, in that order.
My margaritas were lethal, and coupled with the alcohol still left in my body from the night before, a 7 a.m. wake up call and the exhaustion that comes from worrying about someone you care for, I was drunk in a matter of nano seconds.
I am officially blaming this detail on the first fight in my and Matty's friendship. I awoke to confront him with an accusation: "You yelled at me last night, Matty, and told me to shut up."
"I didn't yell
at you. I just asked you to stop whining," he countered.
"I wasn't whining," I whined. "I was expressing myself."
"You were expressing yourself in a whiny manner," he said. I couldn't argue with that. See, over the course of the evening, the head cold I fought off all last week won out, and I found myself drunk, tired and sick, which has only one conclusion: whining.
Thankfully, my friend, Theresa (who had a birthday yesterday! Wheeeeeee!), sent me an amazing selenite crystal
used for healing purposes AND connecting with the dead. I tried to use it for Matty's shoulder, but he refused on the grounds that it was "flaky."
My Mom came through loud and clear, though, and told me that, if she were forced to, she'd rather have lived without a belly button. Also that it's not classy to steal surgical gloves.
How true. Had Matty been thinking, he could have been the proud owner of a crash cart, too. I'm not sharing.In the Comments section, give Matty a get well wish and Theresa a birthday greeting. And/Or tell me if you've ever taken anything from a doctor's office. The winner gets Matty's hospital bracelet.
Labels: and back at Princeton sometimes we'd hump each other, ED, Maid in New York, Whitetail