People in hospitals are strange. They’re shoes seem louder, their perfume stronger, and the looks on their faces are harder than I assume they would normally be. Hospital food always smells like garlic. It’s as if garlic is the only spice they know how to use and they think that, for garlic to be effective, they need to use too much and burn the hell out of it. That’s what hospital food smells like – burned garlic. This one lady is stomping like a horse in her 6 inch heels; black leather and a fur coat. It’s like everyone sniffles. Tote your water bottle, take a swig, sniffle, screw the top back on, sniffle. Burned garlic and disinfectant.
Places like this – sterile and strange smelling – make my insides knot. It didn’t used to be like this, I used to not be bothered by the smells and sounds and looks, but now it makes me uneasy. The cold makes it even worse. The AC is pumping all the time, spreading the garlic smell throughout the entire facility. Horse-clomp of heels, squeaking of elevator doors, sniffles. Do I have time to go find a cup of coffee, something to warm my bones? Is there time for me to go back home, maybe, and remember breakfast and wash the garlic smell from my hair?
I hear a crow outside and they often say that crows are harbingers of bad luck and I am crossing my fingers, hoping that luck has nothing to with this – good or otherwise. Still, I’m avoiding stepping on the cracks because I don’t want to be the cause of anyone’s broken back, I’d much rather be the glue that holds that shit together. Still, the crows are raising hell and I’m waiting. Burned garlic smell, click-clack-squelch of dampened shoes, sniffle, sniffle, take a drink, non-stop, always on repeat.
People in hospitals are strange, but maybe I am really the strange one, sitting here recounting all of their sounds and hoping that luck has nothing to do with anything. I’m the one sitting in the garlic smell. I’m the one sniffling, click-clack-squelching, non-stop repeating myself.