I am aware that at times my journal entries paint a utopian view of my city and this island. Well, the honeymoon is over. After, fifteen hours in the emergency room or in the local parlance, ‘causality’, I realize this place too has its problems. One emergency doctor for a ward on a Friday especially in the evening when the drunks start rolling in is madness. Maybe, I was just unlucky but next time I’ll take my chances with a broken foot.
After fifteen hours, my diagnosis was luckily not broken feet. During the excruciating wait I witnessed what felt like a very long Mike Leigh movie. There are no pretty people in the emergency room. Most of the injuries were drink induced. Sometimes the drinking itself caused the harm. Other times it was the consequences of being drunk that resulted in their visit. One particular event was more distressing than the others.
I lay on a gurney and directly across for me one young woman with weary and glassy eyes sits. She has pretty features but there is a weathering upon her skin that has faded her looks. She has not lived easily. She is restless. Uncomfortable. Behind her, the nurse’s phone rings. No one is able to answer it. After numerous rings, she picks it up and immediately slams it back down. Her agitation grows. I avoid eye contact. She disappears until I hear a scuffle outside of my view. The girl quickly reappears into view as she is roughly shoved by a police officer. I overhear their exchange. She threw water at the officer when he tried to get her to sit back down. Now, she was going to jail. For several minutes the girl told the police officer she would get him and that she never forgets a face if they cross her. Then, two more police came and lead her away hand cuffed.