Waiting Room Questions

“Happy Birthday!” Those were the first words that met my ear today. They came cautiously, spoken almost like a question. A question that was trying to apologize for its very existence. It did not make sense to me then, and it circles my mind now. I was standing then. I find myself sitting now.

I had walked in the building and entered the elevator an hour earlier. “What floor?” I asked the other occupant. “3, please,” came the reply. I was going to 4. They were never going to 4.

“Have you been tested for COVID-19 recently?” the gatekeeper asked. “Yes. It was positive.” Eyebrows arch. “It is negative now.”

I approached the front desk. The forms they gave me asked me why I was here. I did not know the answer. Rather, I could not comprehend it. “Will you please take a seat?” Gladly. I am exhausted. I thought that was supposed to come after.

Time passes. Happy birthday. Happy birthday. Happy birthday. Around and around the drain it goes.

“How did I get here?” I think to myself. “A car,” comes the sarcastic reply. No. “How did I wind up here?” I look out at the sea of …

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