I wouldn’t call the room cheery, but it’s nice enough. White, boring walls, with plenty of windows allowing sunlight to filter in between the slats of the blinds. The chairs are comfy, and there’s a huge TV that’s never on. This is the “infusion room” at my doctor’s office.
That day, there were six of us: two nurses, three patients, and a plus-one who turned out to be a preacher working on his notes for an upcoming funeral. I sat with my arm out so Shirley could draw blood and change the dressing on my PICC line.
“So what have you been doing since the last time I was here?” I asked her.
“Me? Nothing. Work.” She smirked. “That’s all I ever do. Go to work, go home, watch TV with my cat.”
“We need to get you a life,” I said–me, the one whose life centers around doctor appointments and the occasional jaunt to Kroger’s. “I know–let’s rob a bank.”
Evelyn turned from the IV she was hooking up for one of the patients. “With this economy, that might not be a bad idea. I’ve always wanted to mastermind something like that. It would be such a challenge.”
“I’ll drive the get-away car,” said another patient whose IV dripped steadily into her vein. She was a retired truck driver.
“I don’t have fingerprints,” Shirley said. “Don’t know why not. They kept trying and trying to print me at a job I worked at before. Never could get any.”
Just for fun and to pass the time, we talked about it for a while, how we’d all work together, what we’d do with our share of the money, et cetera. I didn’t have much to offer to the scheme other than writing a book about it someday. Probably in prison.
Later, Evelyn unhooked the patient she’d connected the IV to, and the woman stood to leave. I’d noticed she’d been quiet during our silliness and realized why when the only man in the room stood to leave with her. “Ah!” I said. “No wonder you didn’t pitch in with our shenanigans. You’re married to a preacher!”
“She’s a preacher too,” he said.
She patted me on the shoulder on her way out. “Y’all go ahead with your plans. I’ll take your confessions when you’re done.”
That’s teamwork for ya.