Saturday, June 21, 2008

Waiting Rooms and Fragile Things

I have been spending a lot of time around hospitals recently, which means I have spent a lot of time waiting.   Waiting while my wife had surgery.  Waiting with my wife in the ER.  Waiting to get her transferred up to the hospital.  Even waiting while she was getting discharged.

I would just like to say waiting sucks!

Especially hospital waiting rooms.  You sit there full of an uncomfortable mixture of anxiety and utter boredom.  Literally, there is nothing to do but stand around and worry.

Well, I suppose you can read.  I have enough enough experience with waiting rooms that I always grab a book on the way out.  That's how I read Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress in its entirety while in a waiting room on Wednesday.  It is also how I read  Fragile Things over the last two days.

Fragile Things is a collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman.  A more accurate title would probably be "A collection of random bits I have written over the years that really don't fit anywhere else so here you go!"   Perhaps that title might have been a bit too on the nose.

Nevertheless, it was a fascinating collection of short stories precisely because it was so random.  There was a story that crossing over the works of Sir Conan Arthur Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft.  A story directly translated from a nightmare.  A story about an old professor who just might be Susan Pevensie from the Narnia books.  A poem about how to survive in a faerie tale.  A story set in the Matrix.  A continuation of his novel American Gods which includes an adaptation of the Beowulf within it.

All and all, it was a great cross-section of Neil Gaiman's work.  I enjoyed it a lot.

Don't know if I would recommend reading it in a hospital waiting room though.  A lot of it was too heady and contained too much musing on the nature of life and death for such an environment.  So if you find yourself in one, read Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress instead.


Scafloc said...

I haven't posted a reply here in a little while, so I figured I would add in what I do in these cases. What works best for me isn't reading actually... I love to read, but can't feel comfortable doing so while waiting. I jack in an Ipod or cdplayer, and watch the intricate dance of the nurses and lost patients. Get some chamber music and it really gets surreal sometimes.

Unknown said...

Well, if you're looking to have kids you should start putting your own traveling library together. Emergency rooms will become a home away from home after a while. Been there many times myself.

Hope everything is well!