Grand Central Station

I walk through the ER. There are beds in the hallway. I step aside as a tech pushes a portable X-Ray machine past. I call a greeting to a nurse who steps out of a room carrying an IV tray. In another room a doctor intubates an extremely large patient. The intercom pages a cleaning crew to the trauma room. A nurse answers the CMED radio. One of crews is coming in with a heroin overdose. Ahead of me a black man maybe sixty stands naked in the middle of the bustle, a foley catheter in his penis. In his hand he holds a catheter bag filled with fruit punch colored urine. Another ambulance crew comes down the hall, one EMT pulls the stretcher, while another rides the rails doing CPR on the patient’s chest, while the medic at the head ventilates the man through an ambu-bag and ET tube. A nurse’s aide sits outside a room reading a book, guarding the door where inside, a man restrained to a bed utters a string of obscenities. I go into the EMS and sit down to write my run report. I sit there for a moment. I get up go look down the hall. I see my partner gently escorting the naked man back to his room.

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