More ER Tales: The Good The Bad & The Ugly

IMG_0959More, even cruder stuff happened in that Emergency Room I spent four hours in and wrote about here. I didn’t tell it all in part because I didn’t think I COULD tell it without using the real language that I heard there.

But it wasn’t just the language I didn’t tell about it. 

I didn’t say that for my long, long wait I chose to sit by a man who woke that morning unable to move his leg from the knee down. I sat beside him because of his face, because of the expression he wore, that struck me as so socially ready and amenable in spite of the look of anguish that flashed across it now and then. Like me, he had come a long way to get here, and like me, he was alone. But his wife worked there at the hospital and he seemed to feel comforted by that knowledge and was with communicating with her regularly by text.

We sat together trying to ignore the behaviors going around us – like the fact that the dowager princess lookalike who had tripped on the cobblestones had actually called the city workers she blamed “fucking assholes,” an utterance that shocked me to my boots coming from a lady in her 70s with such an otherwise hoity-toity manner

She was eyeing me pretty good, I noticed and maybe it was what I had on, I don’t know. But when she saw the Gloria Steinem book I was reading she said, “Do you like that?” in a flat level way but then said nothing more when I told her yes.

The man with the dead leg and I really were right by the toilets, as I said, so after an hour or so I asked him if he wanted to move. “Sure,” he said, so with him in his wheelchair and I pushing, we rounded the corner to the semi-enclosed space that held the two tall guys I spoke about – only the chair would fit because an elderly lady wearing a sari and seated in her own wheelchair had been placed at the enclosure’s entrance in such a way that we couldn’t get him by it. It wasn’t my place to move her and I we could both see that. “I’m fine,” he said and wheeled himself back to where he had been.

Here in my new spot the first tall man I told about, who had reddish hair and who had what looked to me like cellulitis on the hand that was attached to an IV, told me they had to keep him hooked up here all night at least and maybe for 24 hours past that.  “It sucks because I have to go to Florida this week on a job!” I agreed that it sucked, which I didn’t say in the last post.

I didn’t say either that the sandy-haired, second, tall man, the one with the gash on his chin, had gone directly on from telling me that Gloria Steinem was a fraud to attacking what he called  “that whole Martha’s Vineyard crowd.” “Matt Damon! Fuckin’ Ben Affleck! You know his brother Casey Affleck? Guy’s an fuckin’ midget!”

I didn’t say that when the ER staffer brought in the homeless-looking man with the long grey hair covering his eyes he had leaned in to him and muttered, “Behave yourself now.” Thus I shouldn’t have been surprised by what followed when the two tall guys started to mock him to his face, calling him “Shaggy” and worse. I didn’t say that he finally sat up from his slump and called them both faggots before the rest of the F words began flying thick and fast.

“Guys!” I didn’t tell you that I said. “Guys, what about this lady hearing all this language?” I said, indicated the woman in the sari and who was 80 if she was a day.

“Oh don’t worry about HER!” snapped Shaggy. “She doesn’t even understand us! She’s an Arab! She speaks Arabian!” Then he shouted enough more bad things that the burly male staffer who had brought him in came flying into the room, took him by the elbow, hissed “I warned you!” and hustled him to a different area.

Just after that they called my name and I got seen.

Thirty minutes later I saw, in an exam room that they were escorted my quickly past, the man who had no ability to move a leg that was paining him terribly.

We waved to each other and though there was no opportunity to get it, how I wish I knew his name. 

Because me, I just fell down while running on wet tiles around a pool and got a compression fracture in my back; but this man? This man I can’t stop thinking about. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for him to wake one morning with such symptoms and I so hope he’s ok today.





Brokedown Palace

I’m a baby. Also I guess kind of spoiled because this rental house was actually nice in a way. All we needed to do was not LOOK in the sex bedrooms or the closet with the naked baby dolls; not take notice of the birds swooping through the living room or the bird-poop on the kitchen counters; not think about the fact that the bathroom doors didn’t close or the bedspreads all had this nasty waxy feel to them.

We just had to not take note of the highly poisonous lizard ten feet from the pool which  in any case we couldn’t use because its heater was broken the whole time and it was in the 30s at night.

I showed just the bullet hole and some of the crappy busted stuff last time and here’s more along these lines:




But some of what was there was nice:  you could have a nice bath, though not in private.


You could listen to the ghost piano(See last post by clicking here for that spooky piano feature.)

And you could always could sit on the patio – if you had your coat on-  and forget all about the bedspreads


Really I guess the trick was to be like our little guys and just decide to have fun anyway and that’s what we did. We couldn’t sleep. We couldn’t relax in the the bathroom. But we sure enough laughed our heads off the whole time – which I think is all that kept the bats from settling in our hair.

az-fun-anyway-1 two of our party who loved the place no matter what

All That’s Missing

I think maybe this rental house is where Boogie Nights was filmed – not the sex parts or Roller Girl’s scenes or the one in the men’s room when Mark Wahlberg looks down inside his underpants but the part where this drug lord in his bathrobe is brandishing an automatic weapon and there’s loud discordant music that just won’t STOP.

Yup, this stucco palace high in the desert hills feels like that scene.

The living room is the size of a hotel lobby, which is nice but the basement wall is kicked in and the fridge’s ice and water delivery system is broken with the wires all hanging down.

The dead moths are still dropping on our food from the busted ceiling panel and also: the fuse box in the basement is yanked apart and the pool’s heater is broken so the pool is so cold it makes your legs go eggplant-purple the minute you try to step into it. There are no clocks, and no blankets and not a single table lamp either so no reading in bed but only lying there waiting for the thugs to pull up outside.

The ceramic “decorations” have all been broken, then badly repaired with fat blobs of glue coming out the cracks (see?)


Plus there’s an electric piano that keeps playing “Winter Wonderland” and a bullet hole in the front hall mirror and finally a secret room in the basement that the kids are calling “Gimps’ room” but that’s another movie, that’s “Pulp Fiction.” And now all I can say is Where is Samuel L Jackson when you need him?


happy vacation. Incoming! (bullet hole, living room mirror)

Serene as a Swan, Robbers or No Robbers


Dateline Phoenix: We flew in last night and drove straight from the airport to the house that had been offered to us for the weekend – only to find it standing open, the kitchen window smashed and shards of glass everywhere, computer gone, printer gone, DVD players gone, and we didn’t know what-all else. Plus every drawer and cabinet had been yanked open. and darkness was comin’ on fast.

“I can’t stay here tonight!” I told old Dave.

“It’ll be fine” he told me back, which is what he says even when bits of your busted appendix start coming out your nose.

“Take me out to eat?” I squeaked, which seemed like a good plan to us both since we’d just come off a six-hour plan flight with no food on it. And when we came back a Parking Control truckidled by the house next door. We thought, Why not? so rolled on up and told our story to the cop inside it.

“DO NOT RE-ENTER THE HOUSE, HARM COULD COME TO YOU, REMAIN IN INSIDE YOUR VEHICLE!” she ordered us and quick as a wink called it in on her radio. And in about 20 minutes here came one Officer Kleck, crime-scene kit in hand.

“This must’ve been recent,” said Officer Kleck, standing between the smashed kitchen window and the open sliding door. “We’ve had some big winds lately and things would be really tossed around here otherwise.”

He let me walk with him him as he went around the house gathering evidence.

“Don’t you think this place is SCARY?” I said, trotting close begin him as David curled up on the couch and started watching sports on the one TV that must have been deemed to huge for them to take. “It’s like the Haunted Mansion! I mean most of the lights are burned out and there are those fliers plastered all over the front door… That’s how the thieves knew the place was empty huh?”

“Yep,” said Officer Kleck.

“Well so I don’t think we should sleep here because what if they COME BACK for what they missed?”

“Looks like they took all the DVDs,” he mused, examining a yanked-out drawer by the entertainment center.

Ah! So then maybe it was just kids, right?”

“Kids or tweekers.”


“You know: druggies; meth addicts,” he said.

“Oh GOD!” I said.

“They did leave this nice little flat screen TV behind,” he said,  and that laptop over there so they COULD  come back – but I’m betting they won’t.”

He went on taking pictures of the mess, then brought out his fingerprint kit and left some forms for the owners to fill out. Finally, in a burst of old fashioned chauvinism, he took down DAVID’S information, shook HIS hand and ambled on out to his cruiser.

“I’m pulling these fliers off the door right now so the bad guys will know the house is at least occupied!” I said to David – and saw right away on the smallest one a hand-written note, signed by the pool guy: “Side window broken, back door standing open,” it said, “8am October 30.”

The fliers: the door: fliers

I ran after Our Man Kleck with it, just as he was ready to pull away in his cruiser.

“Well this is great ’cause now we can pinpoint the time of the crime!” he said with a big smile, though he STILL didn’t ask MY name or shake MY hand.

He was one happy public servant, though not half as happy as I was. Because THIS meant the break-in happened almost a month ago! THAT”S why the lights were burned out! They’d broken in and at night and just left them all on! And come to look around a bit, the furniture was dusty as all-get-out from those big old winds he’d referred to!

By then it was full dark but within the next 30 minutes David had patched the window with cardboard, swept away the glass, cleaned up the entire house, and was sitting down again to watch the ballgame.

So what could I do but take my cue from him?  “Oh well” I thought; crawled into the bed, slept like a baby the whole night through and woke feeling safe and grateful to see the sun shining on this pretty little scene out back.


Because it looks as though you can take the electronics and take the DVD’s and make one hell of a mess on the night of your crime besides but you still can’t steal the sunlight or the new morning that it shines on.