Politics Magazine

Home from Work

Posted on the 06 March 2013 by Erictheblue

Home from work.  Not a cold, not the flu.  On Monday I slipped and fell on a patch of ice and hurt my knee badly enough so that I am ambulatory again today for the first time.  Maybe I could have gone to work, but I feel gimpy enough to justify staying home.  It's unusual and pleasant to be alone in the house, doing what I want, like listening to music, which is impossible while the TV is going or children are asleep, which is approximately all the time that I am at home and awake.  Except for today.

I had something nice happen to me while I was limping to Urgent Care on Monday.  I was in bad enough shape so that, at intersections, I had to wait to begin crossing till the light was newly green.  It must have taken me twenty minutes to walk the few hundred yards from my work to the nearest Urgent Care.  When I had maybe a hundred yards to go, someone whose appearance screamed--Poverty!--African American woman, 20-something, overweight, smoking a cigarette, shabbily dressed in outer wear not warm enough for the weather--came up from behind me like forty others had during this odyssey.  But she stopped and asked whether I had hurt myself.  Was I going to the hospital?  Could she help me?  Would I like to lean on her?  "I'm strong," she laughed.  So that's how I traversed the last sixty yards or so.  (It took her about forty torturous yards to break down my idiotic Scandinavian reserve.) 

At the Urgent Care, when they had collected the $30 co-pay that I believe is intended to keep people who don't need medical attention away from the doctor, they transferred me to the ER after watching me try to take my pants off.  I then spent the next ninety minutes observing what there is to observe in the waiting area of a big-city public hospital's emergency room.  According to the philosopher Schopenhauer, you can gauge whether there is in the world a preponderance of happiness over misery, or the other way around, by considering the feelings of two animals, one of which is on the point of beginning to eat the other.  You reach the same conclusion at the ER of the Hennepin County Medical Center.  When I began receiving medical attention, and could overhear the conversations occurring in adjoining examination rooms, I didn't change my mind.

Here's what I'm listening to right now.



Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog