Step Back – – – Contemplate

I was flipping through the channels recently, and I came across one of those medical dramas. You know the kind, where they shift between the tension between the doctors and nurses, orderlies, and patients. It’s interesting how no matter what jobs people find themselves in, they will always come up with the same kinds of conflicts. But the thing the struck me was that it reminded me of once when I was sitting in the waiting room of the emergency room at the hospital. A friend of mine was suffering from extreme side cramps with what would later be determined to be a burst appendix. Because it was so crowded had been waiting for almost an hour by the time they wheeled her in for emergency surgery.  Probably the most disturbing thing was a man who had been waiting there with his kid, who was having some kinds of troubles. And he got into a pretty heated argument with the receptionist, as he had been waiting longer than any of us. Because he was speaking in broken English, and it was apparent the receptionist only spoke English they were having a difficult time communicating. And it didn’t help matters that he was distraught because of his sick daughter, she was distraught because of the many people waiting for more medical care than was available, and there really was nothing she could do. It’s horrible when you find yourself with a communication problem like that.

It reminds me when I was on the beach once, waiting for a friend. I was kind of learning against a wall they had separating the boardwalk from the actual sand. I was standing in the sand area, leaning against the wall, facing the ocean. It was really beautiful. The sun was off to the left, and was going to be setting soon. I was hoping my friend would arrive so we could enjoy the sunset together. But then again, it was one of those times where you are just relaxed and content to sit and let whatever happens happen.  Which is probably why I became so curious about the guy who started talking to me. It seems he was some kind of a performer, and would walk up and down the beach until he found a large crowd, and put on his show, and accept whatever donations they felt were appropriate. He started talking in sentences that didn’t really make much sense, but there was something intriguing about him, so I just listened, wondering where exactly he was going with all of this.

He sorted of reminded me from my friend from Australia, that I see every once in a while. This guy is a philosophy major, who is always going off on weird tangents, but he usually makes a lot of sense when you look below the surface. It’s like you have to take a step back to and figure out how to look at the broader concept of what he is talking about to make sense of it all. Sometimes you really need to pay attention to what is being said so you can really understand it. And many times he doesn’t make any sense then and there, it’s only when you begin to think about this that you can later find ways to apply it to your own life. He also likes to surf, which is probably why I started daydreaming about him while this guy was talking about whatever it was he was talking about.

Which ended up being that he was a fire eater, among other things. He had a bag with him, and while we were talking, or rather while he was talking and I was listening, enough people showed up. He kind of just broke off right in the middle of his story and then put on his fire eating show. And also he walked on fire, and rolled around on broken glass, and all kinds of cool stuff. All in all I think he collected a couple hundred dollars from the crowd. Not a bad take.

After my friend was wheeled into the emergency room, someone finally was able to summon the courage to intervene as a translator for the poor guy with the sick daughter. Turned out she just had diarrhea, and was dehydrated. That’s why she wouldn’t stop crying. Another person in the waiting room offered a solution that calmed his daughter down enough so the poor man was able to enjoy some peace until he finally saw a doctor. While we were waiting for my friend to come out of surgery (from which she fully recovered) he left and gave a gracious thanks to all that helped him.