I was at the hospital too early. I walked back down the wide linoleum corridor, past the bad photo essay framed on the walls that wished it was Humans of New York but instead wasn't. Two folding chairs. Dawn breaking out the window. It's pristine and quiet and sad and I don't know. It's a hospital.
Twenty minutes to. The kind of people who arrive for work early appear, lanyards and backpacks, ID cards bouncing, small white boats on the chop of their chests.
A young woman in a tweed blazer, gathering her very clean hair into a ponytail as she walks. Soft, puposeful stride, like everyone. Backpack, like everyone.
A surgeon walks by in scrubs with her hair escaping around the edges of the hat. Does the hat have a name? Surgeon's hat. With the tie in the back. Hers a pert bow like a bit of Hello Kitty on a some precision rugged tech or other.
A pair of women. A cotton carrybag with a camel on it. Hennatastic! it says. Co-workers greet one another with cop-show precinct familiarity. Polish maintenance guys laughing together over something.
Trolleys and carts. This one white with zigzag metal slots marked 'Archive 2'. It is empty. Next a flecked gunmetal hand trolley bearing a single snap-lock case, like a camera box or bit of band kit. Another trolley just like it, with seven cases. Little plaques on them: Package Type A.
Eight o'clock. Shifts end. Blue-green scrubs in untalkative collections with eyelids at 0.5 time concentrating on the distance between here and sleep. I am so tired. But not so tired as they.
It was as still and alive as a meadow. No it wasn't.