Grandma In Hospital Awaiting Tests, Jonesing for Game Systems
This is Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, OH. You need a little backstory to understand my apprehension of these folks.
A long time ago, back in 1970 during the Vietnam era, Nixon decided to allow troops to cross into Cambodia to deal with the Ho Chi Minh Trail issue. No matter what your politics of the decision are, Nixon entered the 1968 election with the promise to get out of Vietnam, and here it was being escalated. Some people were, naturally, pissed. They held a massive protest at Kent State University, the next town over from Ravenna. The protest lasted for a few days before it ended abruptly when then Ohio Governor Rhodes (for whom a skyscraper is named in Columbus) decided it would be a good idea to have live rounds in the weapons of the National Guard monitoring the protest, and the inevitable happened. Four students died.
They were taken to Robinson Memorial, at that time in downtown Ravenna instead of near a field of cows like it is now.
Fast forward to Grandma's first knee replacement surgery a few years ago. The surgeon had to demand twice that the instruments used be taken away for cleaning, and Grandma still got an infection.
When I went to High School, teachers used to pass out Emergency Medical forms and tell the class "if you value your life, don't ever put 'any available hospital' on this form, for they will take to Robinson. If you go through all of High School and you learn nothing else, know that."
That place frightens me. Walking through it is being led through a cold museum without any art, only to find the door to the parking lot is guarded by flanking nurses and orderlies on a cigarette break, and you know they're going to ask you for a cigarette when you leave, even though there is a gas station within sight, even though they just raised taxes on smokes in Ohio, and you know you're going to give them one because you can never say no......
I get off track sometimes when I'm nervous.
Grandma, however, is not frightened. She is the very opposite of afraid, she is restless and bored. "I can't wait to get out of this fucking dump" she told me in confidence as a nurse could be heard rattling a food cart into the room, to whom no doubt Grandma smiled and was very polite (she likes nurses; never really gave them problems.) I told her about the game cart idea some of you suggested, but she dismissed it: "The last thing I need right now is to stay here, and if I start up a good game and they notice.... well you know how they are sometimes. 'Games are for kids' like fucking 'Trix are for kids.' The hospital is no place for an eccentric to be noticed. I just want to get the fuck out of here."
Sitting here at home, lonely and untouched, is Grandma's PS2 with God of War still inside with the memory card that says the end of God Mode is only a few mountains away; her XBox with World Championship Poker (she's made about $300,000 fake dollars she's proud of) and Psychonauts put to the side with a folded piece of paper from GameFAQs outlining the next mission.
When she comes back, hopefully today, I know exactly what she's going to do.
--Thanks for the piles of e-mails and comments and e-cards for Grandma, everybody. Know that Grandma will see all of them! We BOTH appreciate the massive response!--