Coffee Jerk: “How was work today, Shazam?”

Shazam: “Not as tragic as the past few days,” I replied.  “Of course, I left by 5pm today,” suggesting the the early end to my shift meant less time for more tragedies to occur.

Earlier that day, I had returned to the unit to learn that 2 patients had died in my absence, 2 new motor vehicle crash victims had arrived in their place, and the new patient in the same room as the lady who became an organ donor…had nearly the exact same presentation as the previous patient in that room–massive bleeding in her brain, inoperable due to previous surgeries.

While she was still breathing during morning rounds, by noon, she was making only shallow attempts without the ventilator, barely moving any air in or out. The remainder of her brain functions were gone. It was only a matter of time. Her family had decided not to resuscitiate her due to her devastating brain injury. So now, it was a race against time. I

f her body gave up before her brain stem did, she would just be dead. But if her brain stem gave up before her heart, she would be an organ donor.

Please let the brain die first

After arriving home, I was too tired to go lift weights, but I forced myself to go for a walk. I live across from a nunnery with a large amount of wooded land. As I walked the old road and crossed a stone bridge, I paused to gaze at the small creek below me. I noticed, for the first time, that just downstream were two dark openings in the hillside, with water draining out of them into the creek. I suddenly had an irresistible urge to crawl into one of them and lay down.

I wanted to be alone.

The urge seemed very strange to me and I wondered if I must be part hobbit? I wondered why walking along a moss covered abandoned road through the woods behind an old nunnery was not alone enough. I suddenly wanted to be surrounded by darkness, with the cool mossy walls of the hillside close to my sides. I wanted to lay down and take a long rumpelstiltskin nap.

Who would I be when I awoke?

Instead, I found a set of deer tracks that brought me off the mossy road and down to the creekside. I wandered along in the mud and felt as though I’d seen these woods a hundred times before.  Once again, I eventually arrived at the coffee shop.

In an easy chair nestled in the corner, I sat down and closed my eyes,  imagining myself in my own little hole in the shire.

“How was work today Shazam?” he inquired.
“Not as tragic…” I sighed.