Originally Posted by •LX•
Let me take you back to last Saturday. Yeah - it seems like a cruel trick. We’re all trying to forget. Why even think about it? I don’t know. Why not pick the scab off that wound?
I missed the game. Really. It was Saturday night. 8pm. I had TSN on, and I was so magnificently pleased at not having to watch TSN2 on my computer. And then my wife decided that her infected middle finger might explode if it was not seen to. There was no choice in the matter, we were off to emerg. And Saturday night is really the only night you want to spend in emerg. I would have to record the game and head out.
And oh what I was able to experience. I got to sit next to a crackhead who claimed he had spent the night running into oncoming traffic in order to commit suicide. His breathing was reminiscent of Darth Vader as a colicky baby. He took his shoes off to reveal socks covered in odd greeen stains. He started up with funny little giggles at random moments. He nonchalantly replied to all the doctor’s questions, offered up the details as to how he’s done it all before, and I somehow tuned out his answer to the question “what is it we can do for you?”. So far I might as well have been at the ACC right?
Well where it really gets bad is down a little further from the crackhead where a couple of moaning drunks and a women in a wheelchair faking a TTC-induced injury provided a microcosm in nihilistic ugliness. The drunks were trying to make the best of things, but they were “coming down hard”, and they weren’t going to be seen to anytime soon. The woman in the wheelchair offered up her tale of woe to these two, and there wasn’t a tragedy she had not seen. But worse than that, she clearly was making everything up, and she clearly made it a night at emerg on a regular basis. For one thing she knew the phone number for the patient representative by heart. She stuck her nose in everybody’s business and worked on everyone in attempts to turn them against the nurses and doctors. She felt entitled to constantly sling abuse towards the staff. And when they insisted on simply ignoring her, she loudly called the patient rep and proclaimed that all of us present were being denied treatment.
I began to chant “ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA!” in my own head while playing scrabble on my iPod.
When security finally arrived to inform her that her abusive behavior could not be tolerated, she flipped out on the on “big black dude”, because she “had been beaten up by big black dudes”. She wouldn’t allow the black nurse to touch her, spinning herself into our little corner and cowering like a dog. What a headcase. Of course her x-rays came back negative and she wheeled herself off somewhere else to try and stir up lawsuits and rebellion. The drunks kept moaning about coming down hard, until they finally got what they needed, drifted off to sleep, and snored loud enough to drown out the code blue alarms.
My wife got an IV of antibiaotics for her finger six hours after we arrived, and then had to wait longer to see if there was any reaction. The crackhead had bolted while she was being treated, and needed to be run down by the chipper staff. The snoring continued. Until we finally were able to leave.
When we got back home I started watching the game and realized that I had been one of the lucky ones. And I guess if there’s any point to this it is that we are maybe all “coming down hard” right now. For myself, I’m not entirely sure I will ever get the kind of fix I once did with this game. I remember the great Bill “Spaceman” Lee applying Marx’s comments about the opiate of the masses to baseball instead of religion. And I wonder about the suffering that we feel when those opiates do not take effect. Is it suffering, or just something almost as pathetic as drunks, crackheads, and ignorant fakers in a hospital built for the purpose of easing actual suffering, and filled with many actual cases of tragic circumstances? It provided me with a little perspective. I mean any suffering this season of hell might bring is really just on me. I am probably not alone in looking to relieve myself of some of the everyday grief that living brings, but not finding that relief in the narcotic effects of some decent basketball does not provide any real equivalent to the enormous human suffering that ripples out beyond our generally comfortable lives. It’s just a game, and hurling abuse at Chris Bosh, or Bryan Colangelo, or Doug Smith, or Sam Mitchell, or TSN, or James Naismith himself does not make it anything more or less than just a game. Let’s hope we can get our fix fixed. But if not, let’s not be faking any injuries.