My roommate won’t stop talking to me. It’s just after noon, and I am plotting my escape. I’m still swallowing thick, gooey scabs, but I feel much better. My roommate is blathering on and on about how she met her husband, where they’ve been on vacation, and other various tidbits of her boring life. I lay back in my bed and close my eyes. Miraculously, she shuts up. I’m not really tired anymore, I just want to leave here. I’m not allowed to use my cell phone, and I’m bored.
I’d called Dan two days ago, right before my throat started bleeding. He said he would come by, but he hadn’t shown up yet. I suspected that he would show up any minute and tell my roommate she was hot.
The nurse came in to check my roomie’s bandages. They started talking about my roomie’s boring life while I lay there grinding my teeth. I am about to go bat shit crazy. I get up from the bed and go into the hallway. I’m going to try Dan again.
The phone rings, but Dan doesn’t pick up. I realize that I am going to have to escape the hospital all by myself. I walk slowly down the hallway towards the door. Outside is the hospital park. It’s a giant courtyard, surrounded by the hospital buildings, that is so manicured it’s thirty steps removed from nature. Every plant looks as if it’s plastic. For a moment, I wish they really were plastic so that I can come back later, douse them in gasoline, set them on fire, and smell the molten lava that results. It would be glorious to watch a field full of malleable plants melting into the cobblestone walkway.
I scoot back into my room and lay down again. I’m not going to walk out of the hospital during the afternoon for fear of being dragged back in and strapped down against my will.
At five dinner is served. My meal is a bowl of white slop. Not only does it look like a thousand men ejaculated into the bowl, it tastes salty. There are no other flavors. The consistency was fun to play with. I let spoonful after spoonful slosh back into the bowl. The sound is delightful. My roommate was allowed to eat goulash, which was slightly gray in color.
There’s no television in the room. The only magazine I have to flip through is a Us Weekly June from work had brought with her. I’m under the impression she brought it just to piss me off. She can’t possibly be stupid enough to think that I want to read about celebrity hard ons and look at pictures of their kids.
June Kim is a little Asian chick with a mediocre flat face and double D boobs. She’d gotten a boob job just a year ago, and I had wondered since that time how it is that she is actually able to stand. I theorized that she wears one of those mover’s back brace things all the time. June always wore expensive shoes. Not just kind of expensive shoes, but the kind you see in those stores that have exactly three pairs of shoes in a four thousand square foot space. Once I walked into one of those stores. I was wearing a hoodie and jeans. I didn’t look that grungy, but I didn’t look like the tailored suits observing the nothing. I even had a bunch of money and briefly considered blowing it on the handbag sitting on a pedestal in the middle of the room. As I reached out to touch the bag, a woman grabbed my wrist and said, “I’m sorry, but I think maybe you should leave.”
“Excuse me!? Are you fucking serious!?”
“Yes I am, you can’t afford anything here.”
I pulled a huge wad of hundreds out of my pocket, forty-five hundred dollars I had just taken out of the perks box at work to deliver to the bank. “Oh no? You sure?”
“Oh, my goodness, I am so sorry!” I’d of thought the smile plastered on her face was genuine if I hadn’t seen it forming seconds earlier.
“Fuck you, bitch,” and I took my wad of cash and walked out.
June is always put together. She isn’t beautiful, but she has the personality of a minx. She oozes sex, but only around those people that can directly influence her status in life. She has a different boyfriend every other month, and they are all well-to-do. Whenever one of her boyfriends gives her an expensive gift, she comes to work and struts around showing off her cashmere scarf, diamond tennis bracelet, or whatever she was given.
June is constantly getting on my case about something. She competes with me when there’s no competition to be had. She talks over me in meetings, and she dumps out the coffee at three in the afternoon even though she knows that Dan and I drink coffee in the afternoon.
I look at the cover of the magazine and lay back in bed again. I’m so bored. The best thing to do is sleep for a while. I know the nurses come in around one-thirty to check on us. They’re not at all quiet about it, and it’s woken me up every night since I’ve been here. Afterwards, they disappear into the nurses lounge for an hour. I’ll be heading out then.
While I’m sinking into the darkness, I have a flashback of Bangkok. Dan and I are leaving the place we were at after the Blue Elephant and some guy blows dust at me. This little Indian guy walks right up to me on the street and blows dust in my face. Then he smiles and just walks away. I remember Dan laughing and saying, “If you get high, I’m going to lick out your nostrils.”
The memory sends a cold shiver up my spine, mainly because I had slept with that dumb asshole. Even drunk it’s kind of inexcusable, he’s so crass and internally maimed. It’s as if someone went into his brain and created gray matter where ‘tact’ was supposed to be. I didn’t find him attractive even in the slightest. In fact, I found him downright horrifying. Dan made me laugh quite a bit, but a lot of the time he also made me nauseous.
Before I allow myself to sink into a darkness full of nightmares at the memories of Dan and Bangkok, I think about Eric, the guy from my office. I don’t know why he pops into my thoughts, he just kind of does. He relaxes me somehow. His presence makes me feel less alone. I stop mulling it all over and fall asleep.