Ode to Tuesday

I have always loved Tuesdays; it's arguably my best day of the week (sorry, Friday). Some of the best things in my life have happened on a Tuesday. Maybe my love for this particular day of the week was born from the fact that I was born on a Tuesday, a tiny bundle of wrinkled pink flesh that had to fight for every breath she took. I know this because my mother is also a very good storyteller. This particular Tuesday I walked into the hospital where I worked in very high spirits. Because right along with telling stories, I was also passionate about patching up broken bodies and minds. The corona virus pandemic had kept us busy, overworked and under-rested, but considering the world statistics of morbidity and mortality, it was a good day to be alive and healthy! Our changing room was rife with laughter and bad jokes which were being steadily doled out by Claire as we shared a pack of juice and a packet of biscuits while getting ready to take over the shift. Claire was a fountain of jokes; she had the unique talent of drawing humour out of anything. We sometimes asked her why she didn't pursue a career in comedy, her answer was always the same, delivered with the best poker face I'd ever seen; “I have to learn how to resuscitate anyone who might choke on my horrible jokes first!” This delivery was our favourite, and it always had us in stitches. Claire's husband had been injured in a construction accident a couple years ago, so she had to take care of him and their two kids without help while pulling twelve to fifteen hour shifts. Claire never came to work without her brightest smile and her best worst jokes. These people, the men and women I had been privileged to fight this viral war with, they were the best. And as I looked around at them, I recognized the tightness in my chest for what it was; it was gratitude. “Mimi, why do you look like you just ate a sour grape?” that was Vivian, perceptive, sensitive Vivian who made the best snacks and the best impressions of anyone. “Maybe it's your weak attempt at doing Claire's bad jokes; it leaves a funny taste in my mouth.” The responding laughter was immediate and boisterous. Vivian massaged the dark circles beneath her eyes as the laughter died down, her mother had Alzheimer's, and some nights were worse than others. Last night seemed to have been one of those. We could always tell from the tired lines around her eyes and the eye bags. Those bags- she claimed- added character to her laugh lines. The silence that followed was an acknowledgement; it was time to go in. Our little slice of calm was over, and the storm was ripe for placating. The ER was my favourite place to work, everyday brought hundreds of unique, beautiful stories of flawed and vulnerable people, at a pace that was startlingly fast and forced me to keep up. This Tuesday, I was assigned to the ER. With my protective equipments in place, I headed to the triage station. I could feel the adrenaline rush, the sweet staccato beats of my heart and the blood roaring through my ears. This Tuesday would be as good as they came. The morning went by in a blur. A couple of teenagers in a domestic accident, an elderly lady in hypoglycaemic shock, a toddler with severe dehydration and a middle aged man who lived alone and had suffered a heart attack. Every case, every story was a brush stroke of gray in varying shades imprinted on my thoughts. This was why I could explain jaded in a million different stories. By mid morning, my Hazmat suit was getting itchy and constricting. This wasn't unusual in itself; it was the fair price we had to pay for being the first line of defense against potential Corona virus cases. What wasn't usual though, was my vision. It was dancing, and there were hazy edges to it. I floated over to my desk, feeling like a giant cotton ball but I don't remember sitting down. The next time my eyes opened, some colleagues were peering down at me. Wait, why were they peering down? Right, I was in a bed with an intravenous line in my arm. “Lay back down nurse, you don't want to topple over.” It was Dr. Ahmed, the resident ER doctor. He had been standing off to the side making notes and peering down at me. “I feel fine already, let me up.” I reached for the IV line in my arm and was met with a slap and protest from my colleagues. “Don't let me restrain you!” Claire threatened, her brows drawing up in a way I had only ever seen it do when she did the rounds in the ER. My response was a chuckle. There was a dizzying amount of talking going on around me, and instructions being thrown around. But I did get one thing from the head nurse and Dr. Ahmed; I was not getting out of that bed today, and I was taking the whole week off for strict supervision and bed rest. It's a good thing I lived alone so there was no one to worry about my week long absence. I guess this Tuesday was one of my not so popular ones.

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Author, Writer, Actress

Manchester , United Kingdom