Emergency Room Pastime

Ed woke up in the middle of the night with an ailment that concerned us both so we made a trip to the local Emergency Room. Neither of us is a health professional but, as it turns out, we found out later that the issue was no big deal. However, during those hours we sat there I couldn’t help but exercise one of my favorite pastimes – people watching. It seems insensitive to watch people during a time when they are feeling their worst but it was all I had to keep my brain busy. My focus soon narrowed to a middle-aged woman who was experiencing some issue in her abdominal area. She kept both arms wrapped around her middle and, when sitting, would rock back and forth. She was there with a man and an adolescent boy who were both watching TV and ignoring her completely. I have no idea what their relationship was or even if they had one. From time to time, she would stand up to walk around the waiting room holding her abdomen. She always walked to a remote area of the waiting room where there were very few people because there were few chairs and no tv. Initially I thought she walked over there because of the lack of people. It was about an hour later after the third trip that I noticed the hair flip. I saw her toss her head so that the hair on the right side of her head was thrown back. It was a surprising move for a woman who seemed so miserable and in pain. Finally, I found the last piece of the puzzle – a man in a wheel chair who seemed to be smiling in reaction to the hair toss. She walked back to the men she was with and sat down again rocking back and forth. I impatiently waited for her next trip across the room so I could watch their interactions more closely. About 45 minutes later she was up again slowly moving toward the same corner of the room. I saw that the man in the wheel chair was also watching her travels. The closer she got to him the bigger his smile. She did another hair flip and sat in a chair next to him. They chatted and she discretely took a piece of paper from him, wrote something and it and returned it to the man. Shortly after, the woman returned to her companions. Ed got called to see the doctor and was dismissed in no time with a positive prognosis. As we left, I saw the woman beginning to get up again and really wished I could stay to see the end of the drama. Even without seeing the end, it was good to know that sexual attraction appears to be more powerful than pain and illness.