Take Me to Dinner, Please!

I left my mother in her room to talk to the nurse. A television played in the distance.

“Will you take me to dinner please?” A sharp voice beckoned from a darkened room as I passed. 

I continued on, glancing into the rooms.

“Will someone take me to dinner?!”

Hospital-HallwayA black and white film was on the television, something with Gregory Peck, in the next room. A sign on the next door: Leave This Door Closed As You Have Been Told.

I found a young woman, in an elf green outfit, sorting papers on a cart at the end of the hall.

“I have a question about my mother.”

She looked startled, the papers lolling forward. “I’m not a nurse.”

“She had a fall this morning.”

“I’m the director of social programs.”

“Is the nurse around?”

“She will be here soon.”

I paused. “And there’s a woman that wants to be taken to dinner. She seems a little upset.”

“The nurse will be here soon.”

I went back, looking in briefly at Gregory Peck and then the frail legs in the bed, long and white, the rest of the body hidden by the half-open door.

“Will someone please take me to dinner!?” The voice was more strident now, desperate.

I stopped and looked in at the woman against the far wall, alone in her big dark room.Dark-thinking-loneliness-alone-broken1-300x199

“She told me that someone is coming.”

“Oh.” She sat rigid, her eyes sunk in. “Thank you very much!”

I wondered who the woman thought I meant by ‘she’ as I got on the elevator, always there, ready for my escape.