“I like your jacket where do you get your clothes” I asked with no inflection. Not quite like a demand for information, just a declarative statement.
“Here, there, everywhere” she replied, irritated that I had the nerve or the energy to ask her something about her human side. I wanted to believe it was just my lack of inflection that put her off, but she was mean and she liked The Beatles. She reminded me of someone from my past. If it were up to her I’d be on twice the dose they had me on so I’d keep melting into my bed.
This must be a symptom of mental health professional burnout, I thought. Bedside manner falls by the wayside as the patient melts into their side of the bed.
“I know you got that in the clearance section of Anthropologie. I get the emails too.” This time it was a demand for truth. I didn’t like this woman but I still wanted her to treat me better than the others. I was looking for some reality in this fucked up playground of portals to swimming pools no one would let me swim in.
Silence. Head shaking.
“I meant that as a goddamn compliment. Frugality is a virtue.”
She sighed heavily and refused to make eye contact. I knew I couldn’t break Nurse Ratchet, so I stopped trying.
That jacket would continue to be on clearance for many weeks after leaving the hospital, always in my size. I never missed a sale. I bought a great many things I didn’t need during this time, but that jacket wasn’t one of them.