It isn’t that you really go from one place to another.
It is more likely that the second your heart screeches to a sudden splat at 2:37 in the morning, the result of a storm you had no idea was brewing for the last few hours, It becomes the the shock of running off a cliff with your arms doing a sideways helicopter flail like that of a pre-teen boy surrendering to the first time jump, from a cliff to cold water, on a really hot summer evening.
It is that shock, the abruptness of it, that usually takes a few seconds more off of your life than you had signed up for, and then?
Hitting an iceberg just like that…
The beeper is that slab of ice. Spanking cold water and a cardiac stress test in 2 seconds flat. It always goes off in the middle of your best of bestest dreams. Just at the point when you are about to skip, jump, flutter, and flap your arms to reach that billow of clouds thousands of feet above your body- the softest kiss in the world with the girl you fell in love with in 3rd grade is about to happen, the mysterious answer to life about to be revealed? Yeah- that’s when the pickle jar finally breaks and spills your guts on the floor.
Time to pick up the phone, and dial it running.
You know that feeling in the middle of the night? You have just been injected back to reality, your muscles feel like rubber bands that are stretched and pulling you away from the direction that you are slogging to, and you have that morphine like grogginess you keep trying to shake off but can’t? Even though you are up and walking, you still have your eyes closed in an earnest attempt to somehow resolve the conflict in your mind that this simply can’t be real, and maybe you should go back to sleep.
This has got to be where the term “shake it off” comes from. Gotta get rid of that syrupy stuff that is making me walk and think in slow motion. It’s like trying to run fast in water. It has all become so slow.
In the meantime, somewhere far away, so far you can’t walk there- away, there is a patient, that is dying, but it isn’t in slow motion. Even though you don’t know this person, somehow they lock eyes with you while lying there strapped to their white stretcher in some white room with no walls that seems so endlessly white that you can’t see the corners, and you see them but you can’t hear them, and their lips are moving so you know they are trying to say something to you…
All of this is going through your mind as you brush your teeth. Got the green scrubs going on, and the man-purse is packed. Time to go and go fast. Hoping for a lot of yellow lights between here and there.
The only things left to negotiate between you and the hospital are the car ignition, the automated parking pass to the hospital parking lot, meeting and greeting the night secretary in the operating room and asking her the “is the patient there yet” question.
Now this meet and greet isn’t just a foregone conclusion. First of all, it is in the middle of the night, 2 something in the morning, and it is on a floor usually removed from the rest of the hospital by a lot of signs that say you should NOT be there, unless of course you are authorized to be there, which is usually demonstrated by some sort of badge that you should be wearing but aren’t because you are a half asleep zombie that has just been awakened from death to save others from that same untimely fate. Pant pant.
On top of it, the O.R. secretary is always located down some long dimly lit hall(even more shadowy now- because of that 2-ish in the morning thing), there is always that one weird light that shows her face, but kinda stretches the back round shadows which makes her cheeks look a little longer and pressed backwards, just kinda creepy and your basic middle of the night Twilight Zone type setting.
So yeah, that’s what is going through my mind as I get in the car. The car ignition? Check! I know how the body works, but cars and computers are magic to me. Even though I only have 3 point something fingers left on my left hand (the hand that coincidently does all the work at the drive through and what not), I can still flip a parking pass through the magnetic reader thing, and now we have a positive ID on a parking spot…