I am asked to have a seat.
It’s not for my benefit. The chairs are not fit for human bodies. They are there, boxy and uncomfortable, to cage me. The invitation to sit is truly an invitation to get the fuck out of the receptionist’s face. She has paperwork, faxes, filing, gossip to attend to.
I’m to sit and wait, to be patient as I wait to become a patient. The glass partition slides closed between us. As I listen to her chat, laugh, and cluck her tongue. All over the sound of sanitized music piped in over aged and inept speakers. Sanitized
As I listen to her chat, laugh, and cluck her tongue. All over the sound of sanitized music piped in over aged and inept speakers. Sanitized music, and you can smell it in the air. Alcohol, triclosan, and fake aloe, barely covering the omnipresent musk of toner, paper, and old carpet. Pumps of gel meant to protect us, in the same way that these cheap seats and vapid magazines are for our comfort.
I take my place in the crowd, surrounded by coughing fits, sneezing, and sniffles.
Someone clears their throat to mark each second that passes, as I shift in the chair and try to conform to the unnatural position.
Author’s Note: These snippets are unedited free-writing exercises that I use as a way to shift my brain into a creative state. I use Lynda Barry’s What It Is YouTube timed exercises (usually 9 minutes worth of writing) for these. They are handwritten in a composition notebook and then typed up here. As I transcribe them, I make minor grammar and spelling corrections, but the overall “clarity” (if you can call it that) of the exercise is left as-is.