When you move to a new town, it’s always a good idea to get to know as many people as you can.
Some folks join groups associated with houses of worship, or local trade associations, or the neighborhood satanic cult. Others prowl the club scene if there is one, or simply stalk pedestrians if there isn’t. Still others become involved in online role-playing games, which doesn’t really help them meet people, but it gives them something to do, which is just as well, since they’re probably socially inept anyway.
Barbara dropped me off at the Tully Health Center at 6:30 (A.M., she would hasten to add), which is actually part of Stamford Hospital, but it’s got a different entrance so you can say “I’m just going down to the health center” instead of “I’m going to the hospital,” which sounds a lot more dire.
Never before have I become intimate with so many new people in such a brief period of time.
There was the seemingly color-coded staff at Tully, including one nurse in lavender who immediately told me to take my clothes off before I had even bought her a drink. Two other nurses, one in green, the other in blue, offered to take me to their place, which turned out to be right down the hall. I commented that I was glad none of the nurses wore red shirts, which was a Star Trek reference,* which nobody got.
The nurse in green told me she was a student, which became immediately evident when she steered me erratically down the corridor, as if I were sitting in one of those shopping carts with the bad wheels. (I guess she only had a learner’s permit.)
I was rolled into a big room with lots of screens (a sports bar, I guess), where some kinky person attached things to my chest. I remember the following exchange:
Nurse: Was it a new episode or a repeat?
Doctor: What was the diagnosis?
Doctor: Boy, they’re really getting desperate.
Then I met the anaesthesiologist, who I think slipped something into my drink, because by the time some vaguely familiar-looking guy came in and told me he was going to take pictures of me, I was already dazed and confused, and I told him what he could do with his camera, and he did, but I guess he didn’t realize I meant his.
Then an hour later I woke up in a strange bed and the back of my clothes was gone.
So, as I said, I met a lot of people in a short amount of time although, admittedly, I wasn’t at my best, having been up most of the previous night with a bad case of the runs, brought on by a drinking binge (mixed drinks of Miralax and Snapple®).
I must say, though, if I ever move again, I’ll probably just join a cult.
See you soon.
*The crew members wearing red shirts were always the ones that got killed after beaming down to the planet.