To make a long story short, I spent many hours in the Emergency Room Sunday evening and Monday morning. Don’t worry, everyone is fine, and the biggest lingering effect is that I’m far too old to stay up until 3am.
Writers are supposed to people watch, gleaning little nuggets of interest to add to our characters. People watching at the ER in the wee hours of the am will definitely provide nuggets of something, but I write for Modern Heat/Presents, not the Jerry Springer show. After four hours there, I don’t have a single thing I can use.
But it was interesting. Like the twenty-three people who accompanied two bleeding people into the ER. You read that right—twenty-three. I counted twice to be sure. Why they were all there, I don’t know. But they certainly filled the waiting area with, umm, color. Then the police showed up to take pictures of the bleeding couple. I wanted to fix my lipstick because I figured the crew of COPS would be coming through the door next. I didn’t want to be on TV looking less than my best, you know (or the best I could, all things considered).
Then there was the sign showing a picture of handcuffs with the warning: Restraints must be removed before defibrillator use. Umm, is this a real issue? What kind of people are being brought into this ER? I live in Alabama, not New York...
There was your average assortment of folks vomiting and coughing up a lung. I, germaphobe that I am, was digging through my purse for my anti-bacterial wipes, convinced I’d catch bubonic plague before I got out of there. Monk would have been proud of me and my sanitizing efforts.
I got to overhear some very interesting conversations—the kind that normally only happen on the Springer stage, only without the bitch-slapping and chair throwing. The security guards were keeping close watch, just in case.
So this was how I spent quality time with Counselor Shelley Sunday evening. Not quite the wild days of our youth. We sat there, doing crosswords and Sudoku until we got bored with that, then Counselor Shelley read me diagnoses out of the DSM-IV for a while. Wild times, I tell you.
So, what did I get out of my visit to the ER, other than sleep deprivation and a big bill? Well, nothing I can use for my next book, sadly. I mean, my books are supposed to have a touch of glamour to them, and there was no glamour to be found. No alpha heroes or spunky heroines (Shelley and myself included—we were too tired and too... well... slightly afraid to be considered heroines). No heroic doctors, either. Le sigh. What a waste.
I did get some nice pain killers and an excuse to lay around in the bed all day Monday. So maybe it wasn’t a total waste.
Gotta look on the bright side, you know. :-)
So, where do you people watch? Any good characters there?