Hospital Nights

I have slept in many hospital rooms, pulled out the faux leather cushions of the stiff couch to make a pretend bed, the hospital people being okay with patients’ parents staying the night but not wanting to make it too comfortable lest they move in and claim the space as their own, a mistake I would never make because I am in that blue lit space for seconds before wanting to leave, the windows don’t open and there is constant clicking from machines, people treading in and out in the dark, holding needles and bags of medicine to hang on hooks, toilets flushing in the distance, and the constant risk of pushing a panic button when one only wants more light or less, an environment fraught with easily mopped surfaces littered with used blue gloves and bits of tissue that I pick up and throw in the wastebasket on my way to turn in for the night, where I lie on the faux leather cushions, covered by a white sheet brought from the supply cabinet, watching the breathing of the person I am afraid for.

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