Saturday


Weather Channel in secretly-hoping-shit-hits-fan mode. Weather Channel would like you to rethink where you are. Weather Channel stud says “rainfall is a player.” Weather Channel salivating now. Weather Channel announcing a confetti of pigeons tumbling through the air. Weather Channel field reporters flirting like mad with one another (choppy waves providing ambiance). Weather Channel running stock footage of red plastic gas containers. Weather Channel goddess says, “Brian, I’m on the ground and I have to differ. People are using boards, not tape.”


A hurricane crouches, far away.


Well, I’m in Indiana. I’ve had a bowl of nachos. I could now go out dancing or enter nursing school or watch more television. I know if I enter nursing school it’s going to be rough. I can imagine. I can see me—a short, round man—standing in my white lab coat in some cold hallway at like five in the morning or something, dark rooms with all kinds of seal barking coughs and odd, wet odors and these frazzled family members approaching me all timid yet hopeful and going, “Are you the doctor?” and I’ll have to say, “No, I’m a nurse” and we’ll both pretend that little conversation wasn’t awkward. I’ll most likely be completely bald. The stethoscope around my neck like a black snake and my pockets crammed with little hammers and index cards and tiny flashlights, God knows what to do with any of it. Have you ever seen a dead body? That’s what they’ll probably ask me, the tall nursing instructors, when they observe me sort of slouching in the corner reading the sports section of USA Today, like a dead body is some big rite of passage every student must undergo. Felt up a synthetic breast for synthetic lumps? Check. Bathed the backside of a World War Two veteran? Check. Drew blood sample from a screaming baby’s forehead? Check. Saw a dead person yet? And I’ll say all queasy, “Noooo . . . ” And one of those tall nursing instructors will grip me by the arm and march me right into a cold and dark room and pull back the curtain and there she’ll be, an old, shriveled, pale, sunken, stick figure of a woman, clearly dead. “Go over there and listen to her chest,” the instructor will say. “Sometimes the secretions will settle and make a little gurgling sound, so don’t be alarmed.” Gurgling? What is happening here? Who wants to put up with that? Like once you’re dead it’s one big science experiment. Like your body is just some convenient teaching opportunity. That’s insane. It’s indecent in so many ways. So, no, I’m not tolerating something like that. It’s an issue of human dignity. I will not enter nursing school today, and I certainly don’t find it an appropriate time for dancing.   

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