At the double door

At the double door to the first suite I park my trolley against the solid balustrade on the ambulatory which is just a few feet wide and then empty vortex, an assumption of space because I wouldn’t dare hang down over its entreaties. Those murmuring voices mill and become a single syllable sustained at my altitude above the lobby floor, vaulting a few hundred feet in threads their tracery intertwines into something approaching me, a very large gauge needle leaning against my skin but not entering. I blink at the black peephole. In the fleshtone of the door I don’t see faces but from the pale effuses a faint green like a tire wracked copper Christ I recall. It might have been my eyes dying, seeing dying colors. I brace myself, at every door. Every door could be a stumpy infinity of tales in decimated rooms under vile stains of unhinged lifestyles. Mostly the saddest to me, the most quietly descriptive of some fallen angel daily facing a world that fights with its essence to besmear the modest prints of her tunics and skirts with the byproducts of their shortcomings, are the meticulous made beds, perfect in execution but combated still by the rumples she can’t avoid without freshly laundered sheets. I don’t cry when I am pulling the comforter back and quickly stripping the bed or anything so emotional. I can’t picture the range of people who might have stood back from the bed after it was made to survey it before turning to walk out of the room and return their key. Hateful faces and hateful eyes might also hide the same old bland necessity that draws them back to make a bed that God they hope will be stripped anyway because they wouldn’t have wanted to lay down in someone else’s soiled sheets no matter how anaerobic their hospital corners had been. It usually looked like me for a moment.

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