We got up sooo early this morning and laid in the dirt for a while, getting really grounded, before I drove Katie to the hospital. Hospitals are normally really un-grounding places for me, but this one wasn’t too bad. I attribute this to the huge graveyard across the street, where me and Bro went to play ball a couple times.
In the hospital we decided to say that I was Katie’s niece (we are related, somehow) as we settled in the waiting room. It was really early in the morning, and I was zoning out a little while Katie went through her bag. Until she gasped, “oh, shit!”
I looked down in her bag, where her hand was wrapped around her gun. We’d made plans to lock the gun up in her van before she went to the hospital, because I have this wierd phobia of being shot by people who are hallucinating or having psychotic moments, and the risk of hallucination and brief psychotic breaks are definitely higher after surgery. But in the super early fog we’d both forgotten. We stared at each other. It’s probably some kind of crime to have a gun in the hospital. It’s also a crime to have a gun in a post office, which is what prompted Katie recently to put a little note to herself on the van door: “Are You Armed?” Obviously, we should have put one in my van too.
Just then the admission people called her back. Name, birthday, allergies. Check, check, check. Ready to go? “Umm… we hafta pee.”
There were people in the bathroom, so Katie went in the empty stall first. She unloaded the gun, and as she came out of the stall and I went in she transferred the bullets to my pocket. An unloaded gun is no harm, right? The gun was shoved back down into the bottom of her purse, tho it’s normally in her belt. Sitting on the toilet, I counted the bullets because I am really paranoid about people having guns at the wrong time. I put the bullets back in my pocket carefully, imagining what would happen if I dropped them and they went rolling into the next stall with the prim old woman in the ankle length pencil skirt.
In the waiting bed Katie got nervous. I did some accupressure on her, which was so relaxing she fell asleep. “Where’d you learn that?” she asked. Not in school, that’s for sure.
The doctor came in. Obviously he knew Katie well, because he made her promise not to climb any trees, telephone poles, or mountains for at least a month. And then they wisked her off to surgery.
Afterwards I was worried about her. She was shivering and mumbling and not looking so good. She was worried about me. “Tara! Tara, thank goddess. Are you okay?” she asked.
“I’m okay. You just had surgery, are you okay?”
“Oh, I’m fine. Is Bro okay? Is Mutt okay? Did you call my son? Is he okay? Is my granddaughter okay? What about their dogs?”
I fed her ice chips and we called everyone we knew who had a dog to make sure their dog was okay. Soon Katie was talking to a friend of ours who must have asked how well I was taking care of her because, in her anesthesia-muddledness, she mumbled, “oh, she’s taking such good care of me. I was cold and she got me blankets and even aroused a maintenance man.”
By the way, this is reason number 487 that van dwelling is great: you can (almost) always be where you want to be.