Old Manolis in the corner has a private nurse who can’t talk in whispers. She keeps me awake. At midnight the nurses came to put the anti-trombose injection in my belly. It’s beginning to hurt and it’s full of blue spots. At 05:30 they come round again for medicin distribution and blood taking. I ignore the medicines and I don’t need any blood exams today so I manage to somehow doze through that event.
After breakfast, the obligatory cup of tea with two pieces of industrial toast and honey, I make an walk through “our” corridor. Most patients in cardiology seem to be way past seventy, soom look like they are way past hundred. Our room turns out to be the biggest. In some rooms of 6 meters by 3 meters there are six beds, all lined up against the walls, head to toe fashion. Our room must be 6 by 6 meters, with 7 beds.
When I come back my opposite neighbours, new since last night, are having a conversation, sort of. I initially don’t understand what I find strange about it. Then it “clicks”: the conversation doesn’t proceed along the “normal lines” of saying something, waiting for the reaction of the other, riposting, pausing for feedback, etc… let’s call it the “synchronous” way. These guys exhibit the same cycle of talking and pausing, but in an asynchronous way! One of them for instance is arguing the pros of the new government, the other one cuts in with his own views while the first one continues his line of thought, then the first one will pause for a second as if he wants to let his words sink in, but the other continues his own thread, and after a second or two the first one starts again with his line of thought, and so they continue. Like this:
Speaker A: _________ ||| ______________ |||| _______________ |||| _____
Speaker B: |||| _________________ ||| ____________________||| ____________
( “____” means speaking, “|||” is pausing)
They are not talking with each other, they’re talking to each other, in the most literal sense of the word “to”.