[[I guess this piece harks back to the days when some people occupied a hospital bed for a bit too long. This curmudgeon is a bit sick of it all…]]
I followed my drip trolley along the fluorescent lit corridor. This was my tenth foray from my invalid bed in 24 hours. The time was a bit after 12.10 am. I wasn’t supposed to be out but I was. Was it my fault that cabin fever heated my brain? The sleepers they were giving me were useless. My legs twitched when I lay down, making the starchy sheets rustle.
I noticed two staff members seated at the reception desk whispering urgently. I thought this unusual. I had gotten used to the bored, complacent looks on the faces of the night staff over the previous nights, and wondered if there was an emergency.
I continued to the patient lounge located in the corner of the surgical floor . I didn’t turn on the overhead lights. With the help of the floor lights, I moved to my vantage point. The dark furniture in the room was easy to miss. It’s heavy plastic frames and dark twill upholstery screamed solid institution. I went to the far window and noticed its glass vibrated with the force of the wind.
After a few seconds by the window my eyes adjusted and I made out the street three stories below. I could now see the force of the wind outside. The narrow, young maples were bent double. Their silvery slender trunks looked about to snap. Fine heads of green brushed the ground. Parked cars rocked in place, and across the road two padlocked bicycles broke loose from a picket fence. A mini tornado was making its way up Drummond St. People left the street below and ran into the foyer of the hospital. Despite the raging wind, I was still intent on my reason for the walk. I had experienced deprivation and wanted revenge.
My room contained three other patients. Every day for the past five days three of us had visited this lounge to watch television. It appeared we sought electronic company in lieu of human visitors, which one patient had in abundance. The two women loved to watch a soap opera; the kind that I abhorred. In my invalid state, with no access to good reading material I had been subjected to melodramatic drivel every afternoon.
On the third afternoon, my polite request for a change of channel met with glares and silence. On the fourth afternoon, after requesting a channel change I had arisen and approached the remote. I was slow, especially following my drip trolley, and failed to grasp the remote before it disappeared under the cushion of a seat occupied by the woman with a large bottom.
Now, I pulled the cable from the set top box and stuffed it into the corner of the far cupboard in the ward assistant’s room adjacent. While I was there I stuffed four packets of chocolate cream biscuits into my bra.
My vengeance satisfied by a little mischief, I followed my trolley to bed.