Emergency (I Will Awake)

Thoughts before a shift in the emergency room

It’s a funny thing going to sleep to wake up for a shift at 4am. Maybe it’s because my responsibility hasn’t quite sunken in yet. Maybe it’s because I don’t remember that when I will awake, I will walk into an emergency.

Maybe it’s because emergency is a relative term; while one’s is a subdural hematoma, another’s is a stuffy nose. While one confesses to me that tonight they planned to die, another holds on to life so close that the very sliver away from normal drives them to seek out a place that will protect them. I suppose everything has the potential to become normal in a world of 8 billion plus different people. But still, I will awake to an emergency.

I don’t know who I will see when I walk into the emergency room doors at 4am. I could see you – I hope I don’t see you. I might see your mother, or your friend. But whomever I will see, I will keep my secrets. For the world can never know of the secrets confessed behind closed curtains and the shame that may be exposed. Yes, tomorrow I will enter your emergency.

I pray that you will see beyond me, because I am selfish. I think that is my emergency.

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