The room was small. To small to fit myself, the paramedics, Betty and her daughter. Also too small for the sense of anxiety from her daughter, the wavering denial from Betty, and the feelings of intrusion from myself. With every word, the room was getting smaller.
“We’re worried about this pain.” The ceiling fell by a foot
“I don’t want to have to go to hospital.” The walls crept in.
“This isn’t normal for you. We might have to take you in.” The door shrunk in half. The feelings of anxiety, dread, fear, were stifling the room, giving a sense of claustrophobia.
Betty’s lightbulb would need changing soon. Everything the light touched had a faint orange glow, and everything it didn’t was cast out in elongated shadows creeping up the wall.
[hospital lights are neon. open, pale neon]
I couldn’t stop staring at the decor. Cartoon paintings of fish were just above the headboard – open eyes staring at the scene. They were the silent observers, judging every false move with their relentless, souless eyes. I imagined in an other setting they would be welcoming. Grandchildren spotting them with glee, naming them, giving them character, backstories and joyous fun lives as Betty watched happily, a smile creeping on her face as she knitted them jumpers for the upcoming winter, a matching rainbow fish pattern. Their character, backstory and lives were now reduced to judgement; all seeing, all knowing, all judging.
[there’s no such judgement on the hospital walls]