Monday, June 28, 2010

Ms. Edinburgh, Mr. Houdini, and me

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

The weekend brought a few surprises, all pleasant. For starters, someone had mentioned to me a site called Chatroulette, whereby one is randomly connected via webcam chat to someone else elsewhere in the world. The prospect of entertaining conversation with strangers was of interest to me one particular evening after another strange day at Big City Hospital. More on that in a bit.

What I found upon visiting the site was cause for alarm. The first three people I came across were young men in the nude. Thanks, just the same, but I'll take my business elsewhere. Had a lovely, albeit brief, encounter with a middle-aged couple (!!) from the Midwestern US. A Prairie Home Companion was mentioned and we were all in agreement on its entertainment value. Three French teenagers were next and they kept asking if I listen to Tupac Shakur. Had to reply in the negative as a general rule, but stated that there are occasions on which I may be found to be listening to the man's music.

My last Chatroulette encounter was nothing short of extraordinary. She was as blonde as the day is long, but it was all very natural in appearance. She was lovely, and when she spoke, I was but a smiling, blushing fool. She came from Edinburgh, you see, and my, what an accent. For nearly three hours we spoke, and laughed, and laughed some more. Out of nowhere, she told me that I'm "terribly attractive."

Hold the presses.

This is front-page news.

I told her so, and she seemed to get a great delight out of it. We laughed some more and, as the conversation carried on, I felt glad to speak to an intelligent, beautiful, and ambitious woman who generally found me attractive on all fronts. Gave me one of those little pushes of hope, a sort of, "Ah, go forth, boy!" from the lord above that come round, never a moment too soon.

We spoke until nearly 3 a.m. my time and I had to work hard to force myself away. We exchanged contact information and already she's sent an email. It was a lovely message, typical of what I romantacise all letters from the island to be like. Almost straight from literature, it was. Superb in its styling. Oh my.

Three and one-half hours later, I was turning off my alarm and trying desperately to chase away the fatigue from my eyes and mind. That morning, my dear, I had a date with the golf course. The end result was impressive considering the circumstances, just two over my approximate per-game average! Beautiful course, not crowded, and friendly residents. Good day.

Now, on to tales from Big City Hospital.

Traffic prevented me from arriving at my appointed time. It's an irritating occurrence for me, and surely for all involved, and I do my best to avoid it on a consistent basis. As I entered the nurse's station, The Nurse teased me a little about my tardiness. Off to a good start.

I scrambled around the hospital, running all manner of errands, and encountering generally friendly people wherever I went. Some tasks were executed with a speed unanticipated by the nurse who requested the favour, and I got many big smiles and warm expressions of gratitude. It was, as always, a pleasure to do something for people who do so much for others...and often without so much as a proper, "Thank you."

There were four, yes, four, would-be escape artists on the ward. It was an exciting prospect to me, albeit perhaps a bit on the scary side. These are, after all, not well-minded people. All but one of them were well-behaved, aside from a minor incident here and there. The one who would not comply was a bit of a doozy.

Never did find out his reason for taking up temporary residence on our floor, but he surely displayed signs of only having a lightly-placed foot in reality. Kind of a irritable chap, he was. When there was an emergency in another room, the "guard" for Mr. Houdini had to be called into action. He chose this opportunity to attempt an escape. However, he only made it ten feet down the hallway before he was escorted back to his room by me and one of the nurses. For a few interesting minutes, I stood guard. He was well-behaved and settled in his bed to watch a little television. Hmm! Upon the return of his previous "guard," he was up to his old tricks. Perhaps their personalities clashed. heh. Guards were exchanged and things went on without incident for nearly two hours.

I was on my way up on the lift from running an errand for a stunningly gorgeous nurse (married, of course). My mind was on The Nurse and if I'd have the opportunity to inquire as to whether she might soon be available for a night of entertainment when the doors opened. Standing there, gown half-open and a bag full of assorted items in hand, was Mr. Houdini. I had not anticipated this.

Three nurses and one tech were on the scene. I stood before the open lift, blocking his entrance. For a brief moment, I saw in his eyes a glimmer of, "You'd best remove yourself from my path, otherwise suffer the wrath of my anger and desperation."

...and I reacted by nearly laughing.

Oftentimes in my life, when I'm experiencing something novel that perhaps I'd never imagined would happen to me, my natural reaction is to be overwhelmed with its novelty and be...well, entertained by it. It sometimes takes every ounce of effort to restrain myself and instead display the emotion appropriate to the situation.

So, there the six of us stood. The doors of the lift closed shut behind me. Mr. Houdini went for the button to call it back, but the five of us surrounding him moved accordingly, thereby denying his access. One nurse was gently trying to coax him back to his room with calm speech, but it was not having any effect. Another asked, "What's the matter? Don't you like us?" He said that most them were alright, but that he absolutely must leave to avoid being cited for an expired parking meter. I piped up and asked why he was in such a hurry to leave behind so many beautiful women, and that his insistence upon leaving must be hurting their feelings. He thought about this for a moment, but went right back to slight agitation and talking about insufficient funds to pay a fine.

Around this time, a couple of security guards showed up. Under their authority, he (mostly) calmly returned to his room. However, he lashed out at one of the guards and subsequently wound up being rendered unable to do anything of the sort again.

Just as that settled down, a man on the other side of the hall began yelling an endless stream of obscenities. The last thing that I heard him say before quieting back down was, "Well, I don't want to watch the (expletive) soccer, football, kick the (expletive) ball past some group of (expletive). This is unconstitutional!" It was a light-hearted, amusing moment for those of us at the nurse's station.

...but it did not last.

Stroke alert.

At the end of the day, a frazzled-looking RN hopped on the lift to head to the floor above my destination. I smiled and asked whether she was on her way home soon. She turned to face me. Her frizzy brown hair, pulled back, revealed hints of grey above her ears. Heavy bags, like someone had packed for a three-month expedition to the antarctic, under her bloodshot eyes... "This is only the beginning," she said. At this moment, the doors slid open and she made her exit. I spent a lot of the drive home wondering about her, what she'd experienced to make her look so war-torn.

Finally, in a completely unrelated note, as I made my way to an open desk at the library this morning, a book nestled in on one of the countless shelves caught my eye. It was an anthology of the works of a Japanese writer. A cherry blossom tree adorned the cover. I wanted nothing more than to pluck it from its resting place and devour it. I was put in the literary mood this morning on the way to university when I heard a bit of poetry from days long past recited on the radio. Hm.

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Nurse and other minute tales

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

As I write to you this fine evening, the time is 8:48, Miles Davis' brilliant record "Relaxin'" is currently playing on my laptop computing device (song is an absolute favourite, "If I Were A Bell"), and the electricity is out due to a storm. It's actually kind of a lovely little moment and for it I'm quite appreciative.

My only wish is that The Nurse were present. Mmm, an incredibly romantic set of circumstances...a little slow-dancing by candlelight, a little whispering of sweet nothings, a little giggling. Ahem. Yes.

Blew an opportunity this week to ask her out. While I'm no great judge of when a woman is interested, I'm pretty sure that I was right this time. We sat in close proximity for a good half hour, laughing, talking a bit about ourselves, making a little physical contact... I lost myself countless times. My, what lovely eyes. Brown. Brown eyes! I never seem to go for brown-eyed girls. But my, goodness, they're lovely. Her eyes are not narrow and sharp as some of the other nurses' eyes seem to, they're fresh and round and bursting with gentleness. She's incredibly sweet. Incredibly.

Overall, besides being all swept up in the clouds, the week went well. Some heart-breaking patient stories, some really beautiful stories, some just routine. One guy who has been there for months is starting to make great progress with his speech and ambulates well with assistance. When I started there, things looked grim for the poor man. It's an extraordinary thing, and one that I think is cause for cheer.

I took a little old lady under my wing. No visitors. At all. She was such a pleasant and upbeat person despite her circumstances. She's being transferred elsewhere before I go back next week, so we had a sentimental goodbye before I clocked out. Tears looked like they were being held back when she expressed her gratitude for my work. She told me that she just knew I'll make it to medical school and that I'll make a great doctor. Coming from her, that meant the world to me. She was a terribly interesting woman, having worked closely with a notable public figure for many years and then spending over a decade after retirement donating her time and efforts to a well-known charity. I hated to face the fact that she won't be there when I next clock in. All smiles, all the time.

My relations with the nursing staff continues to improve greatly, even to the point that we're all playing little tricks on one another. I'm feeling very comfortable and as though I'm amongst family.

Golf in the a.m. Got fit for some new golf balls and am anxious to see how they play. Looking to shoot an all-time low cheating!

Ah, that's the power back on just now, 90 minutes almost to the second. Copy, paste, time for bed.

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mmm, check out that pubic symphysis

X-ray porn!

I'm kind of partial to Miss May:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rip van Morris

I came home for lunch and since the apartment was empty, decided to stay and study in my room for the remainder of the day. It's devilishly hot outside and the very thought of making the trek from the university parking lot all the way to the library makes me overheat, even in light of all of the air conditioned shortcuts I've found.

Before I set to work, I went to a few of the websites I check daily...and managed to fall asleep while doing so. Seeing as how the desk and chair combo furnished with the apartment is quite awkward for anyone over six feet tall to utilise (no leg room whatsoever), I had to take to propping myself up on my bed. Ill-advised, I know. Many a time I've drifted off instead of carrying on through the wee hours cramming for some blasted exam (or series of them). So, yes, off I went to sleep.

Don't know precisely what prompted it, but I awoke and was slightly panicked. I looked towards my clock for orientation.

2-something p.m.

2-something p.m.!? Lab started at 1! OH NO! I've missed the quiz, I'll miss points on last week's lab report, and I'm going to miss this week's experiment!

Anger, expletive, sleep-dazed frustration and disorientation, etc...

I double-checked the time with my laptop. Surely I didn't sleep more than 24 hours! No! What day is this!?

At this point, things became a bit clearer and I begin to understand that I've only lost 90 minutes of study time. Whew. Now that my heart rate has gone back to normal, I'm starting to see the humour in the situation. heh

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nothing special

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

Over the weekend, I had occasion to engage in the great game of golf with some of my oldest friends. The heat and humidity, even at 8 a.m. when we teed off, was almost unbearable for the first 30 minutes. However, once egos and excessive boasting came into the picture, the foul weather was the least of our concerns.

It was a brilliant match. One friend had never been golfing before and did extraordinarily well. In the end, we were all within 10 strokes of each other (but all way, waaayy over par), at least according to the scores we recorded. My cheating was kept to a minimum for a realistic idea of how I'd do in a tournament situation, for example. The score left a lot to be desired, but was better than how I've done in the past when I was cheating massively.

The lovely nurse I've had my eye on for a while has been more chatty and smiley than usual and the perpetually grumpy nurse has been a bit nicer towards me since our little breakthrough the other week. I'm rather confused as to what to do about the situation with that nurse I fancy. Loads of incredibly pleasant patients lately, but the amount of visitors they're receiving is minimal. There's an overall good vibe throughout the ward and it's the first I've experienced such universal happiness there. Even some of the doctors, normally charging round with furrowed brows and unwelcoming vibes, are a bit at ease.

Hmm. Seems as though Party Boy has procured vast quantities of alcohol and has organised a bit of a gathering. Each bottle cap that I hear hitting some surface other than the inside of the rubbish bin puts me that much more on edge. Perhaps I should join them and imbibe, myself. If only mastering my courses wasn't such a priority...

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Thursday, June 10, 2010


...coming out of the woodwork presently. Whoa.

Almost feels like I have my pick. That never happens. Hmmm! There are two of the lot that I'm quite interested in. One's in my lab. Very shy...but tall. Beautiful golden hair. The other's in my morning class. Stunning green eyes, light brown hair. She's a little on the short side, but is nice and witty.

If only they were from Glasgow. LAWDY!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


  • Patient cussed me out good and proper and later told a nurse that they were going to get out of bed and kick my hindquarters. I'd clocked in less than 30 minutes earlier. Haha, welcome to Big City Hospital.
  • A nurse that I'd worked with once before, and who was incredibly crabby, was still...incredibly crabby. Even a bit condescending to me. It was on my mind to just not have anything to do with her for the rest of the day, but I carried on being as pleasant as always...perhaps a bit moreso. She warmed up later in the day and even expressed her gratitude for my work. I was glad for the turnaround and improved mood, and felt kind of good when I thought that maybe I had something to do with it.
  • Some woman kept accidentally setting off the call bell. All. Day. Long.
  • An amazing elderly male member of the medical team and I got started talking, and he was a right whirlwind! He's led such a vibrant and varied life. Extensive traveler, five vastly different and highly respectable careers (including the present one), nearly 70 years under his belt and he's still going strong. He rides a motorbike to work! On and on and on came the intriguing details. Some were put off by it, but he was so enthusiastic and ate it up when someone else got wrapped up in it, too. I really hope I see him around again. Made my whole month, that man did. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

A few things

BBC World Service at 11 p.m... if I can stay awake. That's ridiculous.

But funny.

Got the new MSAR today and I've looked through about half of it. I've selected 20 schools so far that I might be interested in applying to, most of which are in the northern and western parts of the country. Realistically, I think I'll only be able to afford to apply and travel to.. uh, 2 of them.  heh

There was a nice guy sitting a table ahead of me in the library today. Kept making small talk. He looked like a womanising frat boy, to be honest, but he only called me "bro" once. There seemed to be a bit of loneliness within him. He mentioned not being from around here. My mind was quick to think of all kinds of possible situations, most of which were kind of sad. I kind of wish I was more talkative...not that I was skimpy with the conversation, but you know how it goes.

As I left the library, the main floor smelled so much like a hospital that I was getting a little worried. As is normally my wont, I let my mind wander and saw myself leaving the hospital after a long, exhausting, taxing day. But I was smiling.

So, I smiled as I left the library, even when the ridiculously hot and humid air assaulted me with a vicious frenzy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lover, come back to me

Dear Peace & Quiet,

I love you. I miss you. Please, come back to me.

Yours forever and ever,

J.O. Morris