It is next to impossible to recreate the smell of a hospital. People talk about how hospitals smell like antiseptic, which is true, but it’s only the most easily identifiable base note. The real complexity is in the impossible-to-articulate scent of illness and death and anxiety and sadness shot through with the faintest whiff of hope, like Pandora’s box come to life.
I’ve never liked hospitals, despite my childhood aspirations of becoming a doctor. Unfortunately, I had a scary fainting spell last November that nobody could explain using words other than “holy shit”, so I’ve had to become quite familiar with them. The ER couldn’t figure it out, so they sent me to the neurology department. After several tests, one of which required me to be sleep-deprived and have bright lights flashed in my face (which I’m pretty sure is against the Geneva Conventions), Dr. Mumtaz told me that I was completely normal, brain-wise.
I had the good manners not to laugh in his face.
Anyway, the good doctor continued as I bit the inside of my cheek, the EKG from the ER wasn’t normal so likely it’s some sort of heart problem that’s gone undiagnosed for a while. He did not seem to have an answer as to why they didn’t mention it to me at the time, so I can only assume they did not think it would be the kind of thing to ever come up. You know, because guns shown in the first act never go off in the third.
Long story short, my blood pressure goes down all the time, you know, whenever it feels like it. The lackadaisical slut.
The reason I was at the hospital today was to get a Holter monitor attached so they can figure out what the hell my heart is doing that it’s so unpredictable, which is a fine adjective for loopy manic-pixie-dreamgirls in movies that are all about teaching uptight bankers how to seize the day through the power of feng shui or whatever, but not so much for one of your major organs. The monitor is a sexy little get-up that has about seven different electrodes and wires hanging off various points in my torso. You do not get a photo, since it is not that kind of blog, but this gentleman should give you an idea of what I’m dealing with here. I look like something a bomb squad would be dispatched to deal with, the observation of which prompted my mother to remark that today would be a fun day to go to the airport, because I guess Mother’s Day cards that come from a maximum security prison are just that much more sentimental. Even my boss deadpanned asking if he’d seen me in The Hurt Locker. (Everybody’s a goddamn comedian.)
I really hope they figure out this thing soon. I’m tired of the hospital smell. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go outside and scare the neighbourhood children. I might be able to convince one of them I’m a cyborg.