A trip to the hospital to get a simple test done. Then again that's an antithesis - can any health related examination ever be simple?
A sense of stupid surprise that there are already so many people thronging the place. It's quite early in the morning but I guess time is not a variable in this equation. Making my way through the masses trying to locate the fastest possible route...with the sour realization that I am actually expediting a process that I dread. I run about and figure a way out of the maze which is hospital administration. It's not too hard though and it gives you something to keep your mind occupied.
Quite soon, too soon, I am sitting outside a white door in a white room amidst a group of motley strangers. I can see them try to guess the nature of my illness, my back-story even as I speculate about theirs. We stare gamely at each other pretending we don't care, as if this is something we do everyday. The hospital staff rush around taking charge. I marvel at the doctors, nurses and assistants as they pass by thinking about the courage it takes to spend all your waking hours here - in the presence of fear and disease and death. I for one cannot wait to run out as soon as possible. I already feel like I have been sitting on this hard plastic chair forever. I look around once more to distract myself. There is a television tuned in to the Cartoon Network. Someone has a sense of humour.
I look around to see if anyone waiting is watching the TV. No one is. There is an elderly woman who looks irritated with all the fuss, a few middle-aged men looking grim, a couple of them chatting away, just passing the time of day, there is a newly married couple sitting very close together on this winter morning. Some people just look resigned - been there, done that. There is an inmate of the hospital who has been brought in a wheelchair. Her face screams fear even as she sits immobile and soundless. Her daughter and husband are with her trying to draw her out of her misery. A boy who cannot be older than 10 is wheeled in. He is scared too. He clutches his grandmother's hand and picks away at the seat of his chair with the other. His voice rises in pitch as his grandmother leaves him alone for a bit. He is too young to be here I think.
I pray that he is alright. I pray that the woman in the wheelchair is fine too. And that the newlyweds have nothing to worry about. And I pray for myself. I know its nothing major (probably) but I realise that at this moment good health is the most important thing on my mind. Later I will worry again about a dozen other real or imagined problems...but right now I just say a short prayer.
I know that in that white room that day, my prayer at least was answered.