Caution on the skyway
I went to visit my writing buddy Ryan in the hospital last night. We’ve tried to get together almost monthly, yet the last time we saw each other was in late March. So it took his appendix bursting for us to finally score a little quality time. It took some overcoming obstacles even then – the hospital he went to is under construction, and arbitrarily changed its visiting hours from 24-7 to 8 pm that day. This is not what the website said, and I arrived close to 9 pm to find this charming surprise and a nurse smirking at me as she smoked her cigarette and eavesdropped on my confused phone call to Ryan.

I did, after walking around the obscenely huge building, find the ER entrance (it’s hidden) and manage to make my way past security to the main hospital. The staff was a weird combination of living and dead. A woman with a stethoscope who sat just beyond the security desk gave me a blank stare when I smiled at her. A cleaning woman also gave me this worn out expression. Yet when I did arrive at Ryan’s room, his nurse, a gamine young woman with blue eyes and black hair looked entirely self-possessed and aware. I’m certain she listened to nearly every word Ryan and I exchanged as her station was just outside his room; when I left she looked amused.

Ryan was pretty loopy – lots of percoset and morphine, and no Adderol for a few days. Aside from the part where he kept falling asleep while we talked, the communication patterns seemed about the same. He showed me where he’s at on his manuscript. It’s good. The prose needs some tightening, but the story is really good. It occurs to me I may have a bias since we both graduated from the same university, and much of it takes place shortly after the time I graduated from there.

Hopefully he’ll remember where the Transformer toy I bought him to amuse himself ((he says he plans to give it to a nephew but I’m willing to bet he keeps it for awhile)) came from. And as I left, along with telling me to say hi to Mike and muttering something about a squirrel, he said “And next time I cancel, I can’t claim my appendix burst!”

“Nope, you’re going to have to go for your gall bladder or something!”

Goofy and weird, and it sucked how we got the time, but it was nice to talk to my friend. Hopefully next week we can do it over coffee, or given how long it can take to recover from surgery, next month. I do want to talk about doing a break-off nonfiction writer’s group that also welcomes occult writing.