Bad News Travels Slow
It’s Saturday Fiction time.
THE KNIFE IN MY BACK WAS A GOOD SIGN. If I was dead I probably wouldn’t have noticed it was there.
When I hit the pavement my face made a sound like I was shaving with a lawnmower. I remember that much – after that it was Wednesday.
When I woke up I saw a gorgeous nurse holding my hand – at least I think she was a nurse – she was all in white and I didn’t like my chances of her being an angel. Not with my track record.
“Well, good morning, Mr. Doe. Don’t try to talk or move. You have a ventilator down your throat and an IV in your arm – two of them, in fact.”
I didn’t feel like getting up and going anywhere and she left me speechless. The last time I woke up and saw a gal that good looking her father had a shotgun pointed up my nose.
“Well, Mr. Doe, you actually have blood pressure and a pulse today – an improvement over when we scraped you off the sidewalk outside of the Emergency Room. Your friends who dropped you off didn’t even bother slowing down. Half of your face is still out there.”
I winced. Some parts of my body were waking up and deciding to hurt like the devil.
“Pain?” she said. “I’ll tell the doctors and they’ll add some painkillers to your cocktail here.” She pointed at my twin IV bags hanging by the bed. “Until then, just be glad you’re alive.”
She started to walk away. I grunted and she turned around. I couldn’t talk and it hurt to move anything, but I was able to look around the room and give a small shrug.
“Oh. Where are you, Mr. Doe? Why, this is St. Anthony of Padua Hospital. He’s the Patron Saint of Lost Souls.”
The Patron Saint of Lost Souls? A lost soul? If anybody ever fit that description it was me right now. Here I was in a hospital bed with stuff jammed down my throat and in both arms; I couldn’t move or talk, and I don’t remember anything after last Sunday night. And what is this “Mr. Doe” business? I may not be crystal clear on who I actually am at the moment, but I’m pretty sure I’m not a “Mr. Doe.”
Whatever it was that the doctors added to my IV for the pain was some good stuff. Another nurse told me that it is Thursday afternoon now. And I noticed that they they’d taken that thing out of my gullet and that I now have one heck of a sore throat. I can talk, but I sound like I’ve been gargling razor blades.
I found out that everybody had me down as “Mr. Doe,” as in “John Doe,” because when they picked me up off the pavement I had zero ID on me. Whoever shoved me out of the car door took my wallet – Sixty bucks, my driver’s license, a picture of a cute blonde – that came with the wallet, and my permit to operate as a Licensed Private Investigator.
I was able to fill them in on my name and address and they told me, now that I could talk, that the police wanted to have a little chat with me. What a coincidence.
— To Be Continued —