|My tropical shirt which elicited the question "Did you just return from West Africa?" at the hospital today|
On this beautiful fall day I finally got up enough courage to visit my friend "The Cajun" in the hospital. No pictures (at his request).
I'm only a short distance away from Beebe Hospital. I know it well having spent a few days there myself about this time last year (kidney stones).
A ten minute drive down New Road and in the back way to the hospital's always packed parking lot.
Made my way to the entrance and the Visitor's Desk. I saw a sign warning me to inform them if I was recently in West Africa (Ebola). The lady at the front desk ASKED me if I had recently just returned from west Africa. Um . . . NO. I asked her why she asked me and she said "You're wearing a very tropical shirt." Uh . . . okay.
I asked what room the Cajun was in and she told me. Again, I know my way around the maze of corridors that is Beebe hospital so I made my way up to the 3rd floor.
|Beebe Hospital corridor to the elevators|
I got to his room. The door was closed and all kinds of signs on it warning me about infection. I wasn't sure if I could go in. I knocked and said his name. No answer. I went to the nurse's station and asked. She said "Knock and go in." I went back and knocked and opened the door just a wee bit. There he was, in all his glory, ensconced in a private "penthouse" room in which he is most anxious to get out of, having been there almost three weeks already. There is a search going on for a ground floor apartment for him (he has a second floor apartment now).
I reached out to shake his hand and took a seat. I brought a trashy, gossipy Hollywood autobiography by Scotty Bowers with me.
I asked him if he would like to read trashy books. He said "I don't read trashy books" but he took it all the same (it's a GOOD book, full of juicy tidbits about the sexual picadillos of some of the most famous Hollywood stars). What self respecting gay man wouldn't want to read such trash?
I seated myself and we had catch up talk on friends and happenings, including our mutual friend's memorial service this past Saturday.I was being very careful not to fall into any verbal faux pas. A bit later his doctor came in with a mask. He asked "How are you doing?" and I said "I'm fine!" The Cajun said "He was talking to me." Whoops! I was on Automatic Response. Leave it up to me to put my foot in my mouth. It's all about me isn't it? Hard to get out of that habit.
He was expecting his friend Linda to come in with some Chinese food for lunch. He said he just about had his fill of hospital food. I told him I would leave as soon as she came in. I could smell the Chinese food (General Tso's Chicken) even before she came in the door. I said "Hi!" to her and left through the aromatic vapors of that spicy hot Chinese chicken dish.
|General Tso's Chicken - HOT!|
I'm glad I went. I know how it is to languish in a hospital. Visitors are always welcome but it was hard to determine the best time to visit him because he occasionally runs a fever and is not up to entertaining visitors. Today was a good day because he wasn't running a fever and felt relatively well. I even evoked a couple of laughs out of him. Just like old times.
|"AARGH ME MATES!" (on the Kalmar Nyckel last year|