Monday, August 24, 2009


She sat, holding her urine sample in her lap.

It was nothing. Just a stomach ache that kept coming back. But the doctor had insisted on a number on scans and tests. Just to be sure.

She looked around her. It was eleven in the morning. And all the benches in front of the little window were full. Behind that window you could see flashes of white, as the nurses bustled around cool and detached, drawing blood, labelling your urine, cracking open the syringe.

The hall had large overhead fans that groaned at their own weight. The room was hot and humid. She could feel a string of sweat beads on her upper lip. She was tempted to lick it with her tongue. Just to taste her sweat.

But she didn’t. She hated waiting rooms. They seemed swollen and sluggish with illness. She wondered how many bacteria must be flying around that hall. She even thought of holding her breath for a while, but then she didn’t know how long before they called her name.

The bottle of urine felt warm in her hand. She tried to hold it such that it wouldn’t be possible to see how full it was. She shifted in her seat, holding the bottle just a little away from her.

And that’s when she saw him.

A worn out T-shirt, jeans, sneakers and a mop of hair. He lay fast asleep on the sofa inside the room. His arm was thrown on his face, shielding his eyes from the bright tube lights that stayed lit twenty four hours in the ICU waiting room.

She wondered who was inside. His mother or his father?

She looked at the sneakers, still laced up. The T-shirt that looked like it had been worn for a couple of days straight.

Just then he woke up with a start.

She looked away hastily. It felt wrong to stare at someone who was so – so asleep.

She stared down at the urine sample in her hand. Brown bottle with a white lid. And then, looked up again.

He was sitting on the sagging sofa, looking down, his arms on his side. He ran a hand through his hair. And looked up.

Their eyes met.

Hers were curious. And apologetic.

His were tired, with deep shadows around them.

They stared at each other.

“ It’s my father. He has cancer. I don’t know if he’s going to live through it.”

“I knew it was one of your parents. You looked so sad when you slept. “

“It’s my fifth day here. They say he’s sinking”.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m not good at it.”

And the girl, clutching her urine sample, suddenly stood up. The lady next to her frowned. Patient number 13 was still inside, this girl was 34.

But the girl was already across the hall. She entered the ICU waiting room, hesitated for a second at the doorway, and then crossed over in quick strides and hugged him.

He crying in his rumpled four day T shirt. She crying with her brown bottle of urine.


ani_aset said...

you write so well AGG loved the whole set up

P.S:bacteria doesnt fly dear

Anonymous said...

This was so original...Loved it! :)

mentalie said...

AGG, i loved your story despite the fact that hospitals terrify me. their walls close in on my lungs and make me dizzy with their smell of disinfectant. and ani, bacteria buzz around in bomber jets at hospitals. i swear.

As the Mind Meanders said...

Quickly... take a bow while I applause...

When are you gonna write a book???

Dr. Rupa Shah said...

Shorm, well...keep writting! Nicely written!

Me! said...

Nothing like an unexpected hug from a stranger when you need one the most, is there? :)

I hate hospitals too (being a product of two doctors)...

... and yes, (referring to the last post), it IS called a "riff"

SUHAS ROCZ said...

Good Post...n I mean it...but I think
it need a deeper culd have levelled up da emotional looked like a pause at 4 minutes (dats wat it took me 2 read da post,appx)...n i thought u wuld do so bcoz u r an amazing writer...wantd 2 know much haz bloggin changd u ???

agent green glass said...

@ani_aset: ya ya...bacteria fly. like at a gazillion miles per hour, they fly at you, and make you sneeze and puke.

@choco: thank you

@mentalie: i hate them too. i force myself to go there and hang out sometimes so i will not feel terrified of them.

@blog gore: if i can ever get beyond the first chapter. sigh! thanks for the encouragement tho. now all i need is a kick or two.

@rupa: the only doctor i'm not scared of. actually make that two, including atul : )

@me: agree. unless its like those scary looking, hormones bursting on their faces kids who were once holding a free hugs placard near my house.

@suhas rocz: ha ha. okay at least some one does not have self esteem issues!

thanks for the feedback. tho i don't know what to make of it. ya, i didn't really care for the way i ended it. in terms of the last line.

but i write in one go. like you said approx 4 mins. and i refuse to change or edit or think about it before i post it. so ya, all the analysing happens later.

has blogging changed me? fuck, what a question. no. is it supposed to?

SUHAS ROCZ said...

let me tell you are one of those of those whom I have startd followin...m kinda choosy...I can proudly say u know "HOW TO WRITE A STORY" caps... as u said, u write it in one I wont say nythn abt ur story...bcoz itz a good one...n i dont know y I askd u dat question...bcoz i thought blogging can change some people...mayb change their way of thinking...mayb do diz ..mayb do dat..all doz kind of stuff...juz sum strings of weirdness...dont mind doesnt happen often :D

agent green glass said...

@suhas rocz: thank you. no, i don't mind it. it was a good question actually. and i think i have an answer.

it hasn't changed me. but ya, i write much more. and i have discovered that i love writing. not all the stuff is good, but ya, its fun. and along the way, i've met other bloggers, and figured there are a lot of people out there who write damn frikking well.

so ya, i guess blogging makes me happy. and bloggers make me feel inspired : )

thanks for the question.

Me! said...

I know what you mean, but an honest hug...
(which is how I KNOW you'd want to remember the kid w/ the rumpled t-shirt)
Ur a beautiful person.

Me! said...

have mailed you @ ur agg@gml account btw...

agent green glass said...

@me: that's the first time some one called me a beautiful person. : ) the folks in my office will go into shock if they hear that.

thank you. i'm used to being thought of as nasty, and pretty much enjoy that. but this is a welcome change.

you mailed? ok, will check.

Mohammed Musthafa said...

short...yet sweet....liked the story...

es said...

nice...jaadu ki jhapi :)
first time your writing style. keep it up!

Sangitha said...

I have been in such a situation in the past.. when dad had his bypass surgery.. And u know AGG more than words its a Big HUG that u desperately need at such times...
A very beautiful of the best i have read on ur blog.. :-)
Keep writing..

agent green glass said...

@musthafa and es: thank yu.

@sangitha: a huge big hug. (((( ))))