I tap on my Kindle Paperwhite turning to the next virtual page and continue reading the introduction to Dante’s Divine Comedy. Reading that title – those words in this place brings a sarcastic snicker to my throat and a wry smile creasing the corners of my mouth for there really is nothing divine or comedic about this place.
The sound of rubber wheels, rhythmically squeaking their way across the synthetic wooden floor begs me to look up and see what the sound is emanating from. I find myself looking into the face of an elderly oriental gentleman being pushed in a wheel chair by whom I suppose is his wife. She looks much too young to be his wife but then I think he’s looking older than he probably is. As this thought rumbles through me head I look around the room I’m sitting in and wonder what tales each of the room’s occupants hold. For there are both patients and care givers seated in the waiting room with me and we all wait for our names to be called.
I wonder what each is thinking as they wait. I look at the face of the lady sitting across from me. I’d seen her upstairs earlier. I’m guessing her to be in her late 60’s but it’s hard to tell given the lines on her face. It’s the face of someone who’s had to embrace far too much pain. It’s a face that wants to be anywhere else but here. Here being another infusion – for the eyes of this woman have seen far too many.
There’s a stoic resolve that says we just need to get through today. There’s a loving abandonment that says lets simply enjoy this moment.
You can divert it, you may temporarily hinder it but you cannot stop the inexorable journey of the river to the sea. Death. It awaits us all, but in this waiting room I can see his spectral form standing in the corner, stalking his next victim.