The young female twenty-eight year old heroin addict is lying in her ICU bed, yelling and screaming at the top of her lungs for her nurse, her doctor, her estranged husband and a God she stopped believing in long ago. Attached to monitors and multiple IV drips giving her drugs—just not the one she wants. The nurse enters the room and sits down next to the young woman. The young woman reaches out and the nurse takes her hand, they hold hands as the nurse tells her how sick she is, how they are trying to save her life, she understands she’s in pain and scared but she needs to be patient and give them time to help her. The young woman calls her “sweetheart” and thanks the nurse for being so kind to her. The nurse then gives the young woman, Xanax, Morphine and finally Dilaudid in a failed attempt to ease her pain, sadly the heroin has taken her out of the range of relief from “normal” hospital drugs. The nurse continues to try and quiet and soothe her, all the while hiding that she is hating her touches and grabbings, scorn and judgement easing in as she looks at the track marks on her arms and legs and the wasted life beside her. Finally, the nurse’s twelve hour shift is over, she briefly chats with the cute respiratory therapist,then drives home, sends out a few texts to family, showers and goes to the kitchen cabinet to take her nightly 50mg of Benadryl. Now able to rest she listens to music and drinks one,two, three glasses of red wine, until she reaches what the young woman could not—oblivion.
The nurse awakens early the next morning, her day off, the previous day comes rushing back to her…with all of its ironies, hypocrisies and judgements.
She catches her breath, then a wry smile crosses her face as she thinks about how perfectly absurd is the life we are all living.