Sitting in the radiology waiting room—double masked— with a handful of others assiduously avoiding eye contact. Staring into their phone screens, another mumbling through her mask something from the grocery list … make sure you don’t forget … the pregnant lady is called in, not quite at her pop point but fairly well along, the nurse tells her sorry about the wait. What does that portend for me? I’m almost half an hour early. The other two sitting in the darkened corner where the TV used to blare Fox News, thankfully someone put a stop to that.
The screen merely shows a bouncing logo for the MC music channel tuned in—whatever it is. Looking around the room I can assure you no one is moved or soothed by this music, but it’s an aural anodyne to trance you further into your phone screen. Everybody, save the conversationalist who coughs—and prompts a tilt of four heads in her direction. She quickly produces a cough lozenge from her capacious, yet overfull, purse—her telegraphy for: I don’t have Covid, folks, relax, just a cough (no words are exchanged, we all understand).
And here I wait, 11 minutes shy of my appointed hour, and some cheesy cover of “Drift Away” comes on the TV—the MC logo sure to ping-pong on the screen for the 3 or so minutes the song acts as a soporific. De-tune, de-stress, diminish your anxiety folks sitting waiting for potentially bad news.
Something else breaks the monotonal blandness another “waitron” walks in, and she has something of a Jamaican lilt to her inflection, and a hearty laugh when asked if she feels like if she’s going to fall. And then, oh Jesus!, America’s “I Need You” shifts onto the MC channel—No! Put me out now! Pump me full of drugs and let me coast down the delivery ramp in a patient wheelchair and straight into the dumpster out back.
Then the receptionist stretches closer to the cutout in the glass partition and says: We are running half an hour late on ultrasounds. This elicits a groan from half of those assembled here which has grown to seven “waitrons.”
And so I wait like a good “waitron.”
“Write. Start writing today. Start writing right now. Don’t write it right, just write it –and then make it right later. Give yourself the mental freedom to enjoy the process, because the process of writing is a long one. Be wary of writing rules and advice. Do it your way.”
— Tara Moss