Friends With Shadows – Chapter 4 (….Continued!)

Writers Note: I apologize for the delay in postings. However, it was a delay well spent. I’ve made some adjustments, working through a writer’s block, made some spelling and grammatical adjustments, and I am developing a more solid delivery of information to the reader via characters. While I continue to expand and develop, I hope you enjoy this next section! And as always, please leave any comments, concerns, questions, or burritos that you feel may warrant my attention – not to mention, please be certain to share and like this page! Word of mouth does wonders!

Chapter 4 (continued)

Even though you, the patient, have just been through a traumatizing life event that may or may not be the fault of this hospital and or this doctor or other subordinates and employees that may or may not have been in contact with you or any equipment actually used to evaluate or perform surgical or *cough* posthumous operations, you will hold harmless this hospital and any personnel under its jurisdiction including the Board of Directors. Further, without admitting any guilt or innocence on behalf of the hospital, we would like to offer a settlement of $10,000 as an expression of our sympathy and compensation to amicably bring this matter to rest. All that is required is you initial here. Sign here. Date here.   

Her fingers pointed to each spot like a flight attendant telling you where the emergency exits are. I doubt her fingers have resembled that of a woman for decades, save her gaudy rings. I can see the festering bacteria seeping from her gums. I can smell the volatile sulfur compounds pouring from her breath in every syllable she indifferently blathers.

Lawyers and disclaimers have replaced our human sympathy with dozens of pages of legal jargon no one was ever intended to read or understand. Scripts written by these ambulance chasing blatherskites for the purpose of protecting the potentially accused from every possible circumstance of life; an opera of language that might as well be dead to the person listening. Confuse and disorient; leading the signer to give up any recourse he or she may have been able to access.

I ask the man-woman, Phyllis, what are all of the other pages.

She simply states that it just says you won’t sue the hospital later for this incident.

Then why not just write that one sentence and save the time and money on that fancy education?
Check in hand, the ink forming my name has hardly dried. I initial there. I sign there. I date there.

The doctor says they’ll release me after a day or two of observation. Release me. A medical prison. The sutures, still fresh from where they opened my chest cavity to harvest my organs. I run fingers down the biological Braille, close my eyes and my mind clears a path down to a long sleep.

Everyone is so interested in recounting their own terrible experience, they forget to tell you that they made it through anyway; they forget to give you hope, “You can do this.” Though, I am certain no one I’m aware of has been through this or has had an experience remotely relatable. There’s not exactly a support group for the living dead or dead living – I can’t be sure which I am.

Something many would call a gift has been my ability to fall asleep anywhere and at any time. Like narcolepsy but completely voluntary.  I spend the remainder of my time at the hospital sleeping, mostly hospital strength narcotic induced.

The orderly insisted he push me out on the wheel chair to the sidewalk. I took advantage of the forced generosity by choosing not to press the situation. The hospital released me.   The orderly told me to take it easy and that things could have been a lot worse. He explained to me that I’m lucky, as best as he could.

That was the day I met the man. That was the day I was never given a choice. That was the day it got worse.


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