Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Miscellany: Dazed and Confused


My sister says that all hospitals, big or small, have the same smell. Literally, it's probably floor sanitizer, but figuratively, it's the scent of illness.

The hospital where I last saw my Grandma resembled a nursing home more than anything else. At certain time in the day, they trot out the mostly elderly patients into the hallways and common areas. The majority are wheelchair-bound, and many of them are content to simply wheel themselves to positions right outside the doors to their rooms.

A few, though, manage to get to the entrances to the hospital. There are big double doors, with sidelights that let in the crisp California sun. I see an old woman staring out the sidelight windowpane, motionless. She's looking at the outside, where it's breezy. When people walk through the entrance, she gives them a wave.

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