healthcare on a Monday

Cherry flavored hard candy held on the heart to displace defibrillator agency, pressed in congruence to pulse fluctuations addressing the vision of American Icon Uncle Sam shaking hands with Hannah Arendt. 

Dust poses in fragile posture on picnic tables, abandoned and arranged under oak trees, planted near the sliding doors of the hospital’s entryway. Janitor Tod sprays his rag with dust cleaner, swipes off particles imitating human dandruff. He sniffs the rag. “Smells like Monday.” He announces. 

Monique, the hospital administrator, exits through the sliding doors. She approaches Tod, whose back is turned to her. He’s sniffing the rag. She taps him on the shoulder, he turns about face in shock. 

“How’s it smell?” She asks.

“Like Monday.” He responds.

“Hmm,” she ponders, “what does Monday smell like?” 

“Like…” He takes another whiff of the rag. “Like sparkles in the ether.” 

Monique takes slow, long steps toward the trees. She places her palm on one of their trunks and rubs the bark. 

“These were planted 12 years ago. I remember. I was on the board then. They were planted to appease the stockholders…you see…the hospital held a focus group on ways to improve appointments for patients. One of the suggestions was to make it more…” She makes air quotes. “Aesthetically pleasing…as if…a few trees will enhance the brightness of learning about a cancer diagnosis.” 

She looks at Tod. 

“What do you think?” She asks. “Do you feel pretty?”  

“Well. I feel about the same, like there’s nothing special about these trees. They look like every other tree to me.” 

She glances up at the branches, a slight breeze shakes the leaves and shifts shadows, back and forth, over her eye line. 

“Yeah…me too…just like every other tree….”

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