Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I was in the hospital yesterday, in the emergency, waiting for the nurse to come back with her tray of supplies and Ali to get the injection and antibiotics. Around nine thirty. Swathed in a big maroon chadar to cover my t-shirt and denim, I stood next to a pillar, watching people. As usual, when I’m tense I focus on bits and pieces of things around me as opposed to the big picture. My toenails shone deep ruby. The man on the sofa had light eyes- grey?- and a nose that tilted upwards at the tip. Ali has a slender back. The nurse at the counter had glasses that made her look like an owl. The paper sign on the door had come unstuck from two ends. There were three or four little kids, a girl and two boys. One of them had a long monkey face and none of them waved back. Kids shouldn’t be in hospitals, it’s scary. And when the plump, pretty woman in apple-green came running in, followed by a tall man in a shalwar kameez and crotched white prayer cap, I wished those kids were at home, asleep.
For me, you don’t know the true meaning of a word until you experience it. I have really truly mumbled only once, and it honestly felt like words had turned into marbles in my mouth, stumbling over my lips, having to be pushed out in a habbar-dabbar kind of fashion. Yesterday I saw wild-eyed, I saw denial, I saw shock. I saw desperate, bewildered, helpless. I wish I could get them out of my head, those siblings greiving for a father. The green one kept trying to go into the emergency place itself where the patients are. She was hyperventilating, screamed awful animal moaning of horror and disbelief and desperation. I wished I was a doctor.

Mina at 2:13 PM