It's HOT HOT HOT.
A naked man shuffles down the hallway, carrying a clean diaper in hand.
I hear the swoosh of the double doors as he leaves.
A few minutes later, someone is bringing him back. Now they are carrying the diaper in one hand and firmly holding his elbow in the other, as they guide him back to his bed or chair or where ever he came from.
He ALMOST made it;
You go dude!
An entire Asian family huddles in a waiting room, waiting on word of their beloved. Every time I pass through the swoosh of the doors, they go silent and stare at me, to see if I am anybody of importance.
As I pass through and out the other side, they resume their whispered conversation.
A new patient is wheeled down the hallway in a wheelchair with someone close on his heals carrying luggage and and pushing an oxygen tank.
A bed comes rolling down the hallway, pushed by orderlies who moments later, push the empty bed back out again.
I escape to the veranda and security comes out moments later, "The NURSE is looking for you..."
I shuffle back through the gate keeper, pass the waiting room with the TV (pausing to see what's on) amble down the hallway, down the ramp, through the waiting room overflowing with Asians, then whoosh through the double doors and glide down to the far end of the hall to the nurse's station.
They thoroughly ignore me.
I climb up on the scales and weigh myself in grams, then in pounds.
It's VERY depressing.
I climb back off the scales and let out a BIG sigh.
A lady nearby suggests I lose 10 pounds. I want to HUG her and THANK her. I had a much larger figure in mind! tee hee hee
Finally one of the nurses says to me "Oh, back to your bed! I will bring your meds!"
I go shuffle back down the hallway, and climb up in the chair, then into my HIGH bed. I guess it's about 40 inches off the floor now, as HIGH as I could get it, tee hee hee.
The nurse comes in and wants to know WHEN I had clean sheets last. I shrug my shoulders and say, "Whenever I moved into this bed last.."
She gasps, and I pretend not to care.
My friend told his friend who told the aid who told the nurse that I hadn't had clean sheets in days. There is a chronic sheet shortage around here that I don't understand! But Tortola stores sell LOUSY sheets, so go figure... maybe the sheets grow legs and walk off to new homes, who knows.
I sure wouldn't want to steal hospital sheets, the devil might have his name on it and POOF you could be taking the devil with you!
And when the devil wants your soulThat's just the beginning of his goalOnce you've sold outYou've lost your cloutAnd if you've ruined your good nameYou'll feel that flickering flameOnce your reputation is lostThe Devil keeps your soul for cost
~~~Dear Miss Mermaid
I like fiddle playing and I like the Charlie Daniels Band, I've been fortunate to hear this song played live in person by them and it's INCREDIBLE
THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA~~~Charlie Daniels Band
The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal.He was in a bind 'cos he was way behind: he was willin' to make a deal.When he came across this young man sawin' on a fiddle and playin' it hot.And the devil jumped upon a hickory stump and said: "Boy let me tell you what:"I bet you didn't know it, but I'm a fiddle player too."And if you'd care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you."Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy, but give the devil his due:"I bet a fiddle of gold against your soul, 'cos I think I'm better than you."The boy said: "My name's Johnny and it might be a sin,"But I'll take your bet, your gonna regret, 'cos I'm the best that's ever been."
Johnny you rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard.'Cos hells broke loose in Georgia and the devil deals it hard.And if you win you get this shiny fiddle made of gold.But if you lose, the devil gets your soul.
The devil opened up his case and he said: "I'll start this show."And fire flew from his fingertips as he resined up his bow.And he pulled the bow across his strings and it made an evil hiss.Then a band of demons joined in and it sounded something like this.When the devil finished, Johnny said: "Well you're pretty good ol' son."But if you'll sit down in that chair, right there, and let me show you how its done."
Fire on the moun, run boys, run.The devil's in the house of the risin' sun.Chicken in the bread pin, pickin' out dough."Granny, does your dog bite?""No, child, no."
The devil bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat.He laid that golden fiddle on the ground at Johnny's feet.Johnny said: "Devil just come on back if you ever want to try again."I told you once, you son of a bitch, I'm the best that's ever been."
And he played fire on the mount, run boys, run.The devil's in the house of the risin' sun.Chicken in the bread pin pickin' out dough."Granny, does your dog bite?""No, child, no."
Back in the early 80's I became good friends with a roadie who had just come off tour with the Charlie Daniels Band and Marshall Tucker Band.
WHOA, let me back this rig up, back it up a LONG ways...
One night I was out with my best friend and we met this dude, in his cowboy hat and boots, strutting his tight jeans and bragging about the tour with Charlie Daniels and Marshall Tucker, and the concerts. He looked just like one of the band members, even though he admitted to only being a roadie. He had his guitar with him and he played a bunch of songs for us. My girlfriend and I giggled at his advances, everyone thought we were sisters. We looked alike and we shared the same last name at the time, though we weren't related at all. I think he tried to get our phone numbers, and we just giggled and flirted.
We were young and having fun in her Uncle's bar. I didn't even drink at the time, and she drank very little, and her Uncle covered our tab of my diet sodas and her light beers, while we played pinball, shot pool and got stoned in the parking lot. Her uncle was a huge man, and we could pretty well do as we please because no one would dare cross her uncle.
We carved our names into the wooden bar that night, for some ridiculous reason, probably because we could and get away with it. She was the apple of her uncle's eye and if we wanted to carve our names down the side of his arm, he would have let us.
The bar crowd was much older than us, more men than women, so we had our hands full at times, what with flirting and all, but her uncle always kept an eye on us and no one dared to make him angry, his size alone, seemed to unsettle folks.
That cowboy roadie guy tried nine different ways to get our attention, and he did have wonderful manners and he could sing and play though nothing like the Charlie Daniels Band. He played a Joan Baez song that my girlfriend and I sang, and we probably sounded terrible, but everyone clapped anyhow. We could only remember the first verse, so that's all we sang.
Funny how that verse would haunt my very soul for decades.
DIAMONDS AND RUST(Words and Music by Joan Baez)
Well I'll be damnedHere comes your ghost againBut that's not unusualIt's just that the moon is fullAnd you happened to callAnd here I sitHand on the telephoneHearing a voice I'd knownA couple of light years agoHeading straight for a fall...
I can remember nearly every minute of that evening, everything we did, everyone that was there, everyone we talked to. It's a night forever in my brain, one that will never leave, even after all these years.
I finally caved in and gave the roadie my home phone number, but forgot to tell him, I was rarely home because I worked all the time. It was a fun Friday night and finally the bar closed and we all went home our separate ways. Sharon and I made plans for the mountains and she was to pick me up at 10am the next morning.
I woke up, fed my cats, got dressed and made some coffee. It was mid September, the 15th to be exact. She called and told me she was running late, but on her way.
Moments later, she was killed.
Just like that.
Gone in an instant.
I heard the sirens. I heard the ambulance. I wondered why my friend was late. I FINALLY had a Saturday off work and we were headed to the mountains. We were taking her car. I paced outside, waiting for her to come get me. She was always so prompt. This wasn't like her to be so late.
An hour went by and I called her home several times and it just rang and rang. I played the piano and then paced some more.
Then another friend drove up and parked in my driveway. He had been at the bar the night before. He was well known for being a heavy beer drinker, who could somehow remain sober and function. Everyone said it was because he was a house painter who ate pickled boiled eggs out of a jar.
He was pale white and he stuttered that her uncle had sent him to fetch me. He told me what happened and I thought it was an evil joke.
I wasn't nice to him at all! Talk about slaying the poor messenger...
I hopped in my car and sped down the highway, why no one pulled me over for speeding, I have no idea, it was nearly a 30 mile ride to her home, and I pushed my little old car up to 80 miles per hour and no one stopped me. I ran through a few red lights and still no one stopped me.
I whizzed past the uncle's bar which was closed up tight, as it didn't usually open until sunset or so.
She lived in a tiny travel trailer at the time. We were going to live together when my house was ready, it was an old house I owned, under renovation and in the meantime I lived in a tiny cottage behind a client's home and she lived in a tiny travel trailer near her Uncle's farm.
I nearly banged down the door, willing her to answer even though her car was no where in sight. I frantically rushed over to her uncle's farm next and I KNEW then something was BAD wrong.
He didn't like for ANYONE to come near his home except for a select few trusted souls.
Anyone else that showed up was likely to get a helluva scare.
His driveway and yard were just crammed full of cars. It was cold and smoke poured out the chimney, as he preferred to cook and heat with a wood stove, because he liked the smell of it.
I got out and walked towards the back door, it flew open and her massive uncle grabbed me up in his beefy arms. We never said a thing, just cried and cried and cried. The house was full of relatives and everyone was crying. There were holes in the walls. I think her uncle or somebody had punched the holes in anger.
I don't know how or when I made it home, but the phone was ringing and it was this cowboy roadie. I hung up on him. He kept calling back and telling me he had heard what happened. I kept hanging up on him.
But he was a persistent fellow, and he kept calling back and calling back. Though I told him 9 different ways I didn't want to be friends or date or ANYTHING, over the next few weeks and months, he just kept calling and telling me I needed a friend. I refused to meet him or go out or anything.
I just went to work and worked as hard as I could, pretending I had NO life other than work, I smiled on command for my clients, I worked as hard and fast as I could. My office had the personality of a robot. My career was soaring and I was just going through the motions.
After work, I went home alone, and sat in the dark and cried night after night. The phone would ring and it was the cowboy begging me to be friends and I would hang up. Other times it rang and it was my dead friend, talking to me and I talked to her all night.
Sometime, after the funeral, her uncle went down to open up the bar. He looked at where we had carved our names into the bar. He locked it back up again.
The bar never reopened.
Eventually my house was ready to move into and I was so depressed, I moved into a ten room house, with just a mattress and an old upright grand piano. They installed my phone and it sat in the floor next to my mattress on the floor.
I spent the next year, living alone in that big house, talking to my deceased friend.
One day, I quit hanging up on the cowboy roadie and he became my good friend.
My second book, Hurricanes and Hangovers, is dedicated to four people, including my best friend Sharon, who was senselessly killed, long ago, and far away, that September 15th.