Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lessons from the Waiting Room

It’s 12 p.m. and I’ve squeezed the yellow lights, ignored the red blinks on the dash, and gone approximately 25 miles per hour over the speed limit to get to the hospital on time.

No – I’m not delivering a baby. I am delivering encouragement. At least… what I believe is encouragement.

Unfortunately, that belief will last about 2.5 minutes. But don’t crush me. I don’t know it yet.

Right now, all I’m thinking about is the fact that this volunteering thing is the perfect solution to my loneliness. My need to occasionally leave my writing desk. My need to feel useful.

So I sit at the grand piano in the waiting room – in my ridiculously pink jacket which screams “volunteer” – and play my heart out. I hear whispers and glance over at a woman who is clearly pointing at me.

I smile. Until she walks over and glares.

“Don’t you know the Boogie Woogie?” she asks. “If you played something upbeat in here people wouldn’t be sick any more.”

Great. Just what every first-time volunteer wants to hear. My music is making people sick.

I am speechless.

I am playing “soothing” music, I explain. This is what I have been asked to play.

People are depressed, she explains. The music is a drain.

Then she walks away.

I sit for a few moments, processing what just happened. Suddenly I realize: I did come here to deliver a baby.

That baby was my pride.

This woman just killed my baby on the spot.

Up until now, this visit has been about my loneliness. My need to occasionally leave my writing desk. My need to feel useful.

As my fingers search for the right keys, I realize: maybe there is more to this. Maybe there are more important things than my needs. Maybe I need to play something upbeat.

So I do.

But not until the baby-killer leaves.

Question for 2Day:
What's your "Baby"?

1 comment:

I know all about waiting--for the right guy, for high school to end, for my boobs to come in (two out of three ain't bad).

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