Running up that hill
I can see my breath and my fingers are tingling cold at the tips gripping the steering wheel my heavy metal station wagon veers around the corner. The early morning almost still night sky is black blue orange and gray the sun fighting to show its face against the winter landscape. Its frosty on the rooftops of slate and shingles glittering mildly, the sparkle struggling to promise a bright day. The high whine of my engine making me fearful my car is on its last legs or just disappointed to be running to somewhere this early. Maybe it shares my dismay. Few other cars careen around and I can only imagine how sleepy everyone else is as they also dutifully head off to where ever they have to be for money. Slowly my feet and fingers warm and I resign myself to another day. The dreading of the beginning is always the worst, next to the lull in the afternoon that heats up my anticipation of leaving. Time moves at a different rate in the hospital and my hurried demeanor contrasts too sharply against the patients stillness and waiting. Often I am told to slow down, sit down, whats your hurry, why do you walk so fast? I only have one speed at work and blame it directly on my years in food service. Everytime I sit down I remember at least 4 things i have forgotten to do, forgotten ice water, blankets, tissues and full buckets of pee. Watching lab results, vampirically taking blood randomly for specific needs, dolling out pain medication and antihypertensives. Deep breathing and coughing and ambulating and drinking and teaching and blood sugars and diets and procedures and dressing changes the minutes tick off in anticipation of the handoff that will be my ticket back to my rusty bucket of a car that carries me home, again in darkness I can see my breath.