Saturday, March 7, 2015
Slice of Life: Waiting Rooms 3/7
I am participating again this year in the Slice of Life challenge in which we write a slice every day in March. If you are interested in joining in, visit the Two Writing Teachers blog for more information.
In the last few weeks, I have found myself in waiting rooms a LOT. Most of the time, I think ahead and am prepared for a wait with a book. This morning, for some reason, I was caught without a book. As I sat there, trying not to make eye contact with the other people waiting for the labs, I started really wishing I had my notebook with me. Of course, I had also recently switched purses and the notebook I usually have was not there. I am going to try to recreate some of the wait here.
We sit in an awkward silence, with just a couple of people braving whispers in the heavy hush of the room. Every once in awhile, someones voice breaks this precarious silence. "Young lady," booms the deep voice of an older gentleman, then he points. The girl looks at him in confusion until the man with him says, "You dropped your ring," and points to the ground in front of her. The room falls back into the hushed silence of people waiting and slightly annoyed at the longer-than-usual wait. I stare at the ugly mustard color on the wall, feeling slightly nauseated and wondering why they would have painted this color on the wall. The harsh fluorescent light does not forgive anything. We all watch people coming and going. The ones who are finally finished with the lab leave with relieved smiles and we sit here waiting. Then the man next to me whispers, "Oh, they're finally on clipboard number 2." It all makes sense then. I thought it was weird that there were only five or six names on the list when there were so many people waiting. Now, I get it. I start to think about books or movies I know of in which a group of strangers is thrown together in some sort of crisis. Which one of these people would step up and be the hero in our story? When the man next to me gets called, he yells out, "One hour and seventeen minutes waiting!" It is as if he has won a prize. We all chuckle slightly. Then, suddenly, the list seems to go faster and the last of us are called in. I did not have to wait nearly as long as that man, but my 40 minutes was enough.