Friday, August 1, 2008

My wife and I were several floors up in a large hospital. The doors to the patients' rooms were all closed, and there were none of the usual sights, sounds, and medical equipment in the corridor. The few people we did see were dressed in regular office clothes. But they didn't see us. When we came to the end of the corridor, my wife went one way and I went another; I had it in my mind that I wanted to go to the seventh floor — the Psych Ward. On the way, the corridor narrowed, then turned, then turned again. More corridors. More turns. Finally, I came to an elevator; it opened and I stepped in, but was disappointed when I realized it was taking me to the ground floor, not the seventh. I got out at the lobby. There were several men and women chatting. "Doctors," I thought. I asked one of them, a man distracted by some papers sticking out of his briefcase, if he could direct me to the Psych Ward. "Oh?" he said. "Is your dog sick? Tell me, what are his symptoms? Depression?" But I didn't have a dog, and I was suddenly very concerned that my wife wouldn't be able to find me. Realizing that the doctor was crazier than I was, I got back into the elevator to look for my wife. More narrow corridors. Signs on the wall at the end of each, pointing somewhere else I didn't want to go.

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