Prose: Wild Women Don’t Wear No Blues
by pronounced "ahhh" like a sigh
Finished the declaration for the proposal. Used part of this piece to weave in the storyline. Had to change the tense. Below is the original in its original tense and with some edits. It’s supposed to showcase how I write. This is how I write.
Love someone and mean it. Even if it hurts like “never”. Love. Mean it.
Prose: Wild Women Don’t Wear No Blues by Bassey Ikpi
The Emergency Room: The First Night
It smells like what I imagine death would. Stale. Thin. Like the air has forgotten how to move. That scares me more than what brought me here. I wish I could stop crying. There must be something here that makes everyone who has passed through give up a part of themselves. It would be easy to succumb to the mind numbing white walls and obstinately shiny linoleum floors. Yes, this place smelled like death and hopelessness and ammonia. And I have been here for four hours.
I wish I could just stop crying. The security guard reads from a textbook and seems to hear neither my sobs nor my, “Excuse me, sir?” When he finally thinks paying attention is worth it, he turns around. I wish he would have remained with his back to me because everything I ask for is denied and dismissed with, “Sorry. I ain’t make the rules.”.
I hope he fails his exam.
Diane is in the waiting room. I feel guilty for making her wait. I feel guilty that she had to bring me here in the first place. Always feel it when people are concern. I’ve been told that guilt is normal. It probably is, I just know that I am not. The waiting room is just on the other side of the door. I don’t know what Diane is doing but every once in awhile I can hear her voice echo from the hall. “Can I just see her?” I’m hoping she will get through but the security guard rejects her requests as well.
I sit at the edge of a thin mattress waiting for someone, anyone to come in. I’m in this room alone. I can hear a soft moaning from somewhere down the hall. This scares me even more and I want to block it out. But I was instructed to leave the door open; outside is a steady parade of nurses and doctors. None of them know my name. They huddle outside the door and talk to each other like I don’t exist. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be hearing this.
“So why is that one here? ”
“And in the room next to it?”
““Severe abdominal pain…“
“And that room?”
“Severe depression and potential suicidality.” I’m digesting the word suicidality, adding it to the list of words in my head right before “adumbration” and right after “euthenics”. I’m playing with these words, saying them over and over. Allowing them to roll around on my tongue. I do this whenever I hear a new word. It’s the only normal thing I’ve done since I got here. My game is interrupted when I hear “Room 1” and “28 years old” and “underweight”. I’m not sure if they are talking about me. “Underweight?. They can’t be talking about me. I haven’t gotten that small… Have I?” When a few of them glance in my direction, I am suddenly ashamed and fold my arms across my chest. They all remain huddled around the door.
I shouldn’t be here.
It will be another 2 hours before someone actually enters. She is the attending nurse. She tells me that she has only come to take my vitals. I don’t know what that means and am not sure if I want them taken. I had nothing but these paper scrubs. When they are wet, they stick to your skin like shame. I discovered that the first hour I was here. At least there is no more crying. I don’t really feel anything now; just a slight swimming in my head. I wonder what people will say. Diane said later that I was in shock. All I know is that I am so tired. I don’t realize that the woman has already taken my temperature and blood pressure. She grabs my wrists and notices how thin they are. I pull my shirt up before she sees the way my collar bones struggle from my skin. The shirt tag reads XL so it quickly falls off my shoulder again. The nurse asks if she can take my blood.
“Only if you buy it dinner first.” I say, quietly.
It is my first joke in 3 days. I want to keep what little spark I have left. The nurse ignores my stab at humor and I fall silent again. She struggles to slide a needle into my skin. I can tell she is new by the way she turns and taps the inside of my elbow searching for a “good vein”. I don’t know what the difference is. Maybe I could have helped. She finds one that looks like it behaves and slides the needle in again. No blood comes. She removes the needle again and attempts to find another vein and another and another. They are all empty. I wonder if I’m already dead.
I bite my lip but can do nothing to stop the tears. The nurse ignores all of this she is still stabbing and searching. I am only trying to keep breathing. She, finally, finds an open vein and the blood seems to pour out of my body like it has been waiting for its freedom. She gives a self satisfied smile. I watch the red race through the tube and fill the vial. I’m not sure I will have anything left. I start to ask her something but she is done with me; instructs me to hold a square of gauze and then tapes it to my elbow. This will stop the bleeding. I close my eyes and wipe my face with the back of my hand. So much for not crying. I swallow and ask “What should I do now?” but she was gone before looked up. I press the gauze and tape hard. Something about the pain makes me feel alive. I’m alone again.
And still no one has asked me my name.