Where zombies go at daytime
You are hungry, so you go into the kitchen, sharpen your knife and get to work on the peppers – and, very unfortunate, your fingertips. “Ouch!” you mutter annoyed and run your bleeding finger under cold water. Not that it makes any difference, but it can't do any harm, can it? You switch from the coloured water to the half-prepared dinner and curse another time, then wonder how to tackle the way from the kitchen into your bathroom without unnecessarily decorating the floor.
A few quick steps, hand under the injured finger, and you reach the bathroom with your massive stock of plasters, creams and bandages, antiseptic lotions, sprays and anything else you need to do a surgery at an open heart. If only it would help stop the bleeding. After what felt like sixty minutes of holding your arm over your head, a tissue firmly pressed to the wound, you resign to the fact that you need to see A&E. Splendid, you think. Nothing better than spending a few amusing hours in a hospital's waiting area.
The cut wrapped up with a makeshift bandage and off you go. A short bus ride later, you arrive at your destiny. The rather unpleasant member of staff behind the desk isn't impressed you dare to interrupt her typing a text message into her mobile phone and barks her questionnaire at you.
“Name?” You give her what she asks for.
“Date of birth?” Can I lie? You shift uncomfortably from one foot to another. And eventually whisper your answer. She repeats it loud and in a firm manner. Thanks for that!
One look at the heaps – supposed to be people – reveals, you are the main attraction and since they are so bored with waiting, even information about your bowel movements will entertain them. When she's finished interviewing you, she says what you hoped not to hear, “It's quite busy, take a seat, someone will call you.”
With a deep sigh you nod, then walk over to sit amongst the half-dead and moaning living. The only available seat is next to a guy who has his arm tugged to his chest, looking as he needs a cuddle and a lollipop. Behind you sits what seems to be an entire Indian family, five generations, taking up seven seats talking loudly and laughing. When you throw a quick look over your shoulder you wonder who of them is in need of treatment, they look all more than chirpy to you, and another assessment reveals, they have all their limps. You shrug and turn your attention to your iPod; at least you can drown the busy chitter chatter. But a minute later, paramedics wheel in an elderly man, who looks more on the brink of death than anything else, and park him right next to you. Guess the doctor orders only half a loaf from now on. With distaste of this half-zombie you lean to the side, when you're smacked over the head.
“Oi!” You turn around to stare at one of the children behind you, smugly grinning and waving with its plastic animal. They really need a sign outside: “Dogs and children have to wait here”!
Just when your anger about the rude behaviour peaks, they all get up to swarm around another family member who's just appeared, wearing a cast. Ah, you think, here's the missing link. In this moment a woman, guided by her boyfriend or maybe husband takes the family's place behind you, he's clutching a cardboard bowl, she's clutching her tummy. Oh please don't vomit into my back! You never know if it's food poisoning and you're not keen on combing scampi out of your hair.
Doctors and nurses head from one end to the other and you and the people in the waiting area move their heads as if they're watching a tennis match. Your name's called and with your hopes up, you pipe a “here”. It's one of the nurses who came to assess if you're an urgent case or not. When she reached out to remove your bandage, you hiss at her which makes it apparent you're not in danger to lose consciousness any time soon. With no chance of getting out here in the next fifteen minutes, you rummage in your bag and dig out a cereal bar. When you are about to rip it open, the half-zombie next to you gurgles and splutters, making you cringe. Probably best to just call the undertakers.
You put the bar back into the bag and get to witness the conversation between the nurse and a Polish woman in front of you.
The woman nods.
“Can you tell me what happened?”
“No, no, I don't know, hurting, it hurting.” Iwona weeps and points to her foot.
“How did you do it?” the nurse tries again.
More pointing and then, “I'm scary!”
You have severe problems to stifle a laughter, for Iwona doesn't give the impression to make good money as a bogy. To not hear any more, you put the head set back into your ears and are able to relax, still internally shaking your head about this madhouse. Thankfully, the half-zombie is wheeled away and you can sit straight in your seat.
“Help! Help!” A cry, louder than your music rips you out of your trance and you look up. A young guy, followed by three others, shuffles towards the desk, his hand pressed to a blood-soaked shirt.
“He's been stabbed, he's been stabbed. Man, this guy just came and stabbed him,” one of the followers rushes out an explanation. Everyone's eyes are on the scene which reminds of a crime flick. Immediately, he's guided through the right hallway, where the heavier injured people are treated. A middle-aged man appears to mop the floor, everything's back to 'normal'. Another person lowers himself next to you, pale, moaning and rocking back and forth. You don't even want to know what his problem might be.
Eventually, your name is called and you walk into the room with many chairs and a few curtains closed. A friendly, but clearly overworked doctor comes to see you. Removing the bandage, which, by now, sticks to the wound hurts and you don't care if the whole hospital can hear you and let out a loud whimper. The doctor tries with humour, but it fails, you're in pain. He takes a thorough look at your finger, then orders the nurse to do the dressing. You're lucky, everything will heal fine. When the nurse comes in, she proves that a smile can hide an evil personality. Not taking prisoners, she grabs your finger and presses as if she wants to take out all her anger at it. You feel as if your eyes pop out and shriek,“Ouch!”
“Well, I have to do that in order to stop the bleeding.” And I just want to kick you!
You breathe heavily, breaking into cold sweat. Oh no, please, I don't want to pass out.
She takes a quick look again, then it's back to torture. “You all right?”
What do you think? “Yes,” you say, suppressing a curse.
“How did you do it?”
As if small talk helps, you think but answer her question.
She peeks at the wound another time, it's still bleeding, but she decides to dress it. Another harsh moment of pain and you're willing to murder her. Two minutes later, you're ready to leave this horrific place. Outside, the sun is going down. When you arrive at home, you throw the vegetables, together with your finger cuts into the bin and dial the number of your favourite take away.