The young, black-haired waiting-room receptionist, in a voice that is pleasant and professional but too loud, instructs those of us who are waiting–grey-haired and balding, strangely like me–where we should go for the next phase of our lives. So many are told to go to the critical-care waiting area that I worry that young black-hair knows no other destination. I have an urge to educate her about the “everything’s fine, no need to worry” waiting area and to speak a little more softly, but I think twice about it since, like all the people working here, she seems so powerful, and we, right now, are just weak, worried wait-ers.
We should be getting used to this green and white room–so like, yet so different from, all the other rooms in these proudly sterile green and white buildings. But this room is still strange. And very scary. Maybe because it’s Halloween season, with its ten-foot-tall blowup cats and horror flicks on every channel. But maybe not. Maybe…well, probably, it’s because we’re here with our son.
Keene, New Hampshire