Staph (st_f) n. Informal. A spherical gram-positive bacterium of
the genus staphylococcus, commonly occurring in clusters and
causing boils, septicemia and other infections. — “The
American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition”

Laura Wong

One — Sunday 9:35 PM

Him — Mmmyello?

Me — Drew, what the hell is this bullshit? You’re in
there for three days before I’m even informed? One of my best
friends goes into the hospital and nobody mentions it till 10
minutes ago.

Him — Well I’ve been a bit busy, what with the
festering, silver dollar-sized open sore on my knee.

Me — Hell my parents knew before I did. My dad called me
five minutes ago. Even they found out in this elaborate secondhand
chain of…

Him — I talked to Randy last night. He said he’d
tell people.

Me — Didn’t see him this morning, I’ve been at
the newspaper all day. Still either one of you could …

Him — Aren’t you done with the paper yet?

Me — New editors take over at the end of the week, so
I’m still sort of on-duty. And change the subject when
I’m done chewing you out.

Him — Not exactly much you could have …

Me — I’d like to hear about it when you’re
transported via an ambulance at 3:00 a.m. back to home. Let alone
being taken to the hospital my dad has worked at for how many
years? I mean, holy crap, whenever sirens and IVs are brought into
the picture, I’d like a heads up.

Him — You didn’t notice I wasn’t around at
all? I’m deeply, deeply hurt Scott.

Me — Yeah it doesn’t speak very well for the current
state of our relationship that you can disappear for three days at
time, and I think nothing of it. I blame your girlfriend.

Him — What about your girlfriend? Anyways I’m tied
up with Glee Club and the B-School and you’re always at the
Daily and … are you still taking classes?

Me — Shut up. How you holding up, by the way?

Him — Did you not hear me say, “festering, silver
dollar-sized open sore?”

Me — Is Eisenhower on the silver dollar?

Him — Kennedy.

Me — Kennedy’s on the half dollar.

Him — Does it really matter?

Me — I assume the full dollar is bigger. Unless they
messed up, a la the nickel/dime ratio.

Him — Look, my doctor said silver dollar, the man’s
a medical professional.

Me — Wait, what’s a Susan B. Anthony then?

Him — I’m going to sleep, man.

Me — OK, what’s your room number in case I want to
call back to save you from boredom?

Him — 342 Peds.

Me — Peds as in pediatric? As in little kids? You were 21
last time I checked.

Him — Our family doctor is a pediatrician so he’s
put me here. I have my own single room so I’m not-

Me — You’re lucky you only look 15. The nurses
didn’t even notice I’ll bet.

Him — They did look at me funny when I was doing my
marketing reading.

Me — Reading? This is a vacation, pal. You’re
supposed to live it up, you’re supposed to …

Him — I’m taking my codeine and I’m going to
sleep. Goodnight.

Me — ’Night, I’ll call back in the
morning.

Two — Monday 8:52 PM

Him — Yeah?

Me — How’d it go?

Him — It was decided I had to learn to change the dressing
myself because I’ll be stuck doing it in the coming weeks. So
the nurse and I in the bathroom …

Me — I like where this is going …

Him — Ignoring that. Anyways, I’m unwrapping my leg
in the shower and suddenly I see it for the first time.

Me — Bad?

Him — I threw up.

Me — No … really.

Him — I looked at it and it was like the space shuttle
countdown. 3, 2, 1 …

Me — Blastoff. It was really that painful?

Him — No, not at all. The first time it was excruciating
’cause the painkillers were wearing off, like a 10 out of 10,
the worst thing I had ever felt. The gauze was packed in there
really tight. But this time I timed it better and there was less
ripping of inflamed flesh …

Me — But you still puked at the sight of your own leg?
There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

Him — Hey! Under no circumstances are you allowed to write
about this in your column, OK? Promise me you won’t try to
turn my personal suffering into some sort of meditation on
morality, alright?

Me — Don’t worry about it, Scout’s honor
… so how big was it?

Him — If you’re taking notes, I’ll kill you,
so help me.

 

— Sympathy cards for Drew can be sent care of Scott at
sserilla@umich.edu. WASH
YOUR HANDS!

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