My memory of her starts to fade.

It has been four days now. Such a short period in my life, and yet it seems so long. We met that one night, and we were inseperable. I could look into her eyes and be lost. She would look into mine and blush.

She said all the right things, at all the right times. And I wonder if it meant anything. It seemed to, but I can't know for sure. And I worry that I sit here thinking of someone who will never think of me again.

She has my phone number, she knows where I live. I have her email, but I don't know if she reads it. I wonder why she hasn't called. I wonder what her friends are saying, what they have told her. I wonder what she said to her boyfriend. I wonder if she thinks about me.

That is the one major question running through my mind. Does she think about me the way I think about her? Does she try to recall my face, my voice, my eyes? Does she try to remember my touch?

Maybe this is what love is....

...Maybe not

The company christmas party.

I've been temping at this advertising agency for a while now. What was supposed to be a two-month assignment has stretched itself into almost a year now, with only a quiet mumble among the other workers that there might be a more permanent position. I don't mind the job at all, as it certainly beats being on the dole, scraping a living out of the change in my couch.

The first few months that I was there, I kept pretty strictly over my keyboard, hammering out my mindlessly repetitive work. After realizing that my work wasn't nearly that important, I started playing the internet with abandon, and talking to the guy who sits in the other part of our pesudo-office. And I have met some other people who work there, but they're usually not too far away from the confines of my desk.

Since the christmas party started with a speech from the CEO of the agency, attendance was an unspoken kind of mandatory. I wasn't exactly too hyped about going, but the idea of being paid for an hour or two of listening to a presentation and then a drink or two wasn't exactly against my moral character either. And, it wasn't really that bad, considering I was surrounded by a ton of people that I had no idea existed, yet work no more than a few seconds walk where I spend eight hours out of every business day.

Much to my surprise, I received a christmas bonus, even though I'm technically not an employee. It wasn't exactly a flood of money, but it's good to feel appreciated. I had really thought that my participation in the office went pretty much unnoticed by those that hand out wads of cash, but I was mistaken. It's good to know that, somewhere in the maze of musty air and paperwork, that someone recognizes that I've been putting forward slightly more effort than an average temp.

I ducked out pretty early considering it was an office chistmas party. I'm certainly missing out on the traditional hijinx, but I'm not really getting worked up over that idea. I'll certainly hear all about every second of personal embarrassment over the next few days. And, it is my responsibility as a newlywed to duck out early.

Now, if they would just hire me in already...

We are the Borg

A few weeks past, I purchased a number of Mr Spoon's marvelous E2 stickers, available here. I've been sticking them up all over the place; my front door, on campus, on the back of my laptop. I did all this in the hopes of attracting new and intelligent noders to E2 (Nodevertising? Perhaps.)

Resistance is futile

Last week, I was visiting my brother down in the Old City, for purposes of partying and writing final papers. I brought my laptop (E2 sticker prominently displayed) for the latter purpose. Nothing was said about it at the time.

You will be assimilated

Today, I noticed a new user named ICO addressing me in the catbox. Curious, I hopped over to his homenode.

Hmmm...

specialties: music, documentary film

You know, this sounds awfully familiar...

school/company: DJ, filmmaker, slacker

These qualities describe my brother to a T. Curiouser and curiouser. I open up his User Search:

Mutek (thing). A node about the Montreal electronic music scene.

Matthew Herbert (person). Another node about electronic music and Montreal.

The writing style looks veeeery familiar. I'm convinced. I fire off a couple of messages to ICO, inquiring whether he is my older brother. At the same time, I pick up the phone and dial his number.

Hello?

Hey, is that you logged into Everything2?

Yeah.

How did you find out about it?

You know that sticker on your laptop?

Oh, of course. Mystery solved.

We discuss E2 for a bit. I give him the usual new user advice as I announce to the catbox at large that I've hooked another user on delicious Node Crack.

WHAM!

You gained 3 experience points!
You gained 10 experience points!
You gained 10 experience points!

I wonder aloud in the catbox whence comes this flood of XP. I check Golden Trinkets, on the suggestion of Chris-O, only to find the same number as before. Ninjapenguin suggests the node tracker. WHOAH! All my node reputations have just jumped by 1, even my nodes for numbers. Back on E2:

Cool Man Eddiesays Hey, mirv, SharQ just cooled your How to dance the Viennese Waltz writeup, baby!
Cool Man Eddie says Hey, mirv, SharQ just cooled your Boxing gloves writeup, baby!

Well, there's another mystery solved. Thanks for all the upvotes, SharQ.

The crowd goes wild! The cheerleaders come out for smooches! I am one happy noder.

So, everybody, please welcome new user ICO to the fold. Watch for many nodes on electronic music, filmmaking, and, he says, how to build a wall.Update: He seems to be quite a good noder, too, with 10 writeups (5 of them C!ed) and 47 XP.

1 down, 6 to go!

Oh yeah, I also wrote a piece on why using Everything for homework research is a bad idea, which got cooled by Jet-Poop and P_I in what may or may not be a related incident. Thanks, folks.

Oh, and everybody wish a big Happy Birthday to dannye and arkaem.

True story.

So I was sitting at my computer, minding my own business, and suddenly, out of thin air, this guy appears in my room. Some completely random guy. Except he wasn't random, he was dressed like me, looked like me. If I didn't know better I'd have said he WAS me. The only difference was that he was carrying what looked like a Palm Pilot and a small piece of paper.

"Who the hell are you?" I demand, understandably startled by his entrance.

The guy blinks and looks confused, then consults his bit of paper. "Hi there, sam512, I am your future self. I have just travelled backwards in time to meet you," he says, obviously reading this straight from the paper.

I am sceptical, of course, but there is no better explanation available, so I say, "Can you prove it?"

"Sure," he says. "Come and stand here." He gives me the Palm Pilot. I see that there are times and dates flashing on it. I have no time to work out what they mean before my "future self" thrusts the paper into my hands too, and points to a green button on the Pilot. "Press that button now. Do it."

I shrug and press the button. There's a momentary blinding flash, and there I am in my living room, with yet another guy who looks awfully like me sitting at the computer staring back at me in shock.

"Who the hell are you?" he demands.

Suddenly, everything clicks into place. I consult the paper. I recite my lines, and send my past self back in time by about thirty seconds with the time machine and the piece of paper. And now here I am, still halfway through the day log I was in the middle of writing.

I think I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight.

I can't help wondering whose handwriting it was on that piece of paper.

Antarctic Diary: December 13th, 2002

I will find a God

Awaken you dreamersAsleep at your desksParrots and lemurs populate yourUnconscious grotesquePlease let them outDo it todayAnd don't let the loveless ones sell you a world wrapped in grayWrapped in Grey-XTC-

And then it was over. Just like that.

Since returning from the dry valleys I'd fallen into a routine at McMurdo. Up at 5:30AM with my roomate. Wash. Coffee (Starbucks) in the room. Chat until 7:15. Then he'd head off to work on road building, and I'd head over to the galley for breakfast.

Breakfast with friends, if they were there, or alone. Then up to the library at Crary Lab to node, write, and do whatever computer cataloging I could manage. Lunch at noon. Then off to comms or another place to run errands until dinner.

Dinner at 6PM. Then hang out with whomever was around till 11. Sleep. Repeat.

One day my schedule was interrupted by bag drag and my herc flight north.

It was really as simple as that.

All of a sudden I was watching Ob Hill fade in the distance, and then I was crammed into the plane. Just about the time my legs and butt fell asleep we were airborne and Antarctica was over for me for a year.

An interesting fact about the plane that took me back to New Zealand: it was a New Zealand air force plane. Standard military camo color. There were five penguins painted on the camo. One us of asked a crew member what it meant. He said it meant five missions completed to the ice.

That seemed incorrect to me. That plane had been flying back and forth between Christchurch and McMurdo almost daily. How come only five penguins?

I found out twenty minutes into the flight. I was sitting across from one of the small porthole windows on the plane. Mostly, the window was blocked by Kate, one of the anthropologists from University of Rochester. She was knitting. She had taken out her knitting supplies as soon as she was seated and had set to creating a hat from yarn in a display of total knitting focus I'd never ever seen on anyone, even my grandmother.

Our knees were jammed against each other's thighs in the most unprovokative way two human's limbs can touch. And then there were the other 18 people around us who helped form the mass of flesh-become-cargo we'd been transformed into from sentient human beings. (I imagined the sign outside the plane --"Scientists. Contents under pressure. Take care when opening as contents will expand to several times the packaged size.")

For some reason Kate looked down. I think she was trying to retrieve a ball of yarn from somewhere between my calf and the ankle of the Kiwi scientist to my right whose hipbone was becoming acquainted with my kidney.

We were experiencing a bit of turbulence. Except for Kate, most folks were holding on to the cargo netting to keep from crushing each other. Under normal conditions the crew would have told us we could take our seat belts off by then. I figured the turbulence had given them pause.

Alas, my naivete can be disgustingly astounding at times.

When Kate looked down, I could see out the tiny window. Then I was absolutely certain for the first time in my flying career that I was in a crashing plane and my life would terminate in seconds.

There were waves outside my window. Waves of liquid black ocean. And then icebergs, their tops at the level of my forehead.

I could not see the horizon. It was above the level of the window.

The whitecaps on the storm tossed ocean streamed by in pulses like a strobe. And then bright flashes of blue-white as we streaked past chunks of detatched ice shelf.

The bastards were buzzing penguins. In a C130. At 200 miles per hour, just a couple of hundred feet off the deck. (Later I heard the Kiwi Air Force was well known for this practice, and that they had driven whole flocks from ice floes into the mouths of waiting orcas, who were apparently aware of the Kiwi flight timetable.)

After a while there was no more ice, only ocean, and the pilot pulled into a steep climb. Within a minute the loadmaster told us we could remove our seatbelts.

I got out of the netting and sat on some dufflebags strapped in a corner and for eight hours I stayed there listening to my iPod (which worked for nearly all that time on a single battery charge, to my surprise).

After eight hours we landed in Christchurch. I met up with some ice people and we had drinks at the Dux de Luxe. Then we went off to the greek restaurant for dinner. Dessert at a cafe. Back to the Windsor hotel to look at ice pictures in the lounge.

Then it was done. I said my goodbyes and headed down the street to the Devon, the B&B where I stay in CHCH. Went to sleep. Woke up for breakfast the next morning. Headed to the airport. Checked in. Had a few hours to kill so I went to the CDC which is at the Antarctic Centre.

The Emperor and crown princess of Japan were there. They were surrounded by reporters and some security. I got close enough to take a couple of pictures.

A lot of my life has become like this since Antarctica. So many amazing things. So many amazing people. It was as if I'd been living with my eyes closed all these years, and all I had to do was to open them and the same world I'd been in woke up and released all the parrots and lemurs and cartoon dragons.

Got home to California a little while ago.

Now I'm sitting here in the darkness I haven't seen in a month. It's raining outside. Windy. There are cars going by.

Part of me feels like it's over. Ok. Let's get on with life now.

Part of me says, "It's never over." Part of me will never leave Antarctica. I don't have to get back to any sort of life because this IS my life.

As was true last year, these feet that rest upon my office carpet have traversed the Taylor Valley. These hands chopped holes in Lake Bonney.

I may look the same, but the blood that flows in my veins is borne on liquid blue ice I hacked from glaciers and frozen lakes.

Nothing, and no one can ever undo that.

That's what adventure means to me. That's what life means to me. I have been blessed to be able to do these things, and I will find a God to thank for everything I have been able to accomplish in this creation.

I am mortal, but I will not die.

...don't let the loveless ones sell youA world wrapped in grey

Noder Meat! This is the official aftermath writeup for The not at all wittily titled end of 2002 London noder meet - well, it's officially my aftermath writeup, anyway. Were you there? Log it! If not, then you missed out, baby...

Got things off to a smooth start by turning up 2 hours late to my own nodermeet, which is either spectacularly stupid or amazingly cool, depending on how you measure these things. Me and JodieK rolled in about 8pm, walking straight past the flunkies guiding people there, pretending we knew exactly where we were going. The Conrad Hotel is seriously swanky, there was a sultry lady singing sultry, smoky tunes, and I felt seriously out of place amongst the ballgowns, wearing my "I PITY THE FOOL" t-shirt. It seemed to go down well with the warm, shiny noders anyway, and that's all that matters. The happy hour was supposed to be extended till 9pm for us, but the bar staff sometimes had trouble with this. Here is the actual conversation I had with one, at 8.55pm, at least three times:

Me: Shouldn't these drinks be half price?
Troubled Barman: No, is over.
Me: Sorry?
TB: Happy hour is over.
Me: Yes, but they extended it for us, until 9pm.
TB: That's right, yes.
Me: And it's not 9pm yet.
TB: That's right.
Me: So they should be half price?
TB: No, happy hour is over.
Me: But it's not 9 yet!
TB: That's right.
Me: And happy hour is extended till 9, for us!
TB: Yes, I know.
Me: So why aren't they half price?
TB: Happy hour is over.

At this point I became the dragon, calmly grabbed him by the ears, bit right through his neck, and ripped his head clean off. Just before the life went out of his eyes, I showed him his headless body, and what I was doing to it, roaring in triumph and foaming at the mouth. He won't mess with me again. But it all balances out - I got overcharged for one set of drinks, and Lila got away without paying for hers: she waited so long for the guy to come and take her money, she just assumed he had died, and walked off. Top!

Just after 9pm, we decamped to go to the Lots Road diner, so me and JodieK had to slam the drinks I'd just fought for, but it got us quite merry so that was okay. The diner also kicked ass - the table was booked for 15, Pandora quite rightly assuming that half of the slackarsed noders wouldn't turn up, considering everyone thought the location was halfway up an Alp, but roughly 8 million people arrived, looking for food, drink, and goats. We all got seated, and I ordered a steak sandwich.

Let me explain something here, and why I kept going on about this bloody sandwich. This is what a steak sandwich is normally: a poncey little baguette, with 6 and a half thin strips of cheap beef. What I got was a fucking huge steak, medium rare, slapped between two thick slices of toast. It was, quite literally, a steak sandwich. It was fucking gorgeous. In future, in restaurants, I shall ask for my steak to be served this way. It's fab. Very tasty, with "Big Chips" that lived up to their name, and a salad that I was too full even to go near. I kept waving my sandwich at people, shouting "It's a fucking steak in a sandwich!" over and over, through mouthfuls of steak. Well it was... I don't get out much.

Went to the toilet at one stage, ascorbic behind me - there was a corridor with 4 self-contained toilets leading off it. I went into mine, and heard ascorbic try my door, not knowing I was in there, so I stuck my head out into the corridor and yelled, in a West Country accent, "You'm can't comes in 'ere!" - right into the face of some woman I'd never seen before. ascorbic disappeared into his toilet, leaving me to embarrass myself. I swiftly locked myself in, and flushed my head down the bowl.

booyaa had a tiny camera phone satellite laser weather-control device, and was taking photos - but it was too dark to see if they came out, the screen was a black square every time. On several occasions I was able to demonstrate my psychic powers, by predicting the appearance of said black square.

Highlights: fondue's bizarre, terrifying sock monkey; Lila's fabulous cow (Mr Eric Moo); the food; the location; meeting people I hadn't met yet; meeting lovely people I'd already met; somebody pointing at wertperch and yelling "Listen to that man! He's important!"; ReiToei's "mangina"; continually being congratulated for organising such a splendid meet even though I merely wrote the writeup and let Pandora do all the tricky stuff.

Lowlights: fondue's bizarre, terrifying sock monkey; seeing how young some new people are - scary purely because it makes me feel about 400 years old; not getting a chance to chat with everyone, yet again, because of the size of the group, but that can't be helped. Oh, and there was the whole thing with the gang of dwarves on hoverboards, who we battled in the streets with flaming torches and tactical nuclear missiles, but that's another story - my case comes up on Wednesday, so if anyone knows Cherie Blair, could you get her to phone up my judge and quietly sort it out for me? She'll know which one he is, he's the mad old racist bastard with a wig, shouldn't too hard to track down. Cheers.

Still, it was great to see everyone, and I had a groovy time - noders are a bunch of staggeringly attractive, interesting, witty, urbane individuals. Especially me.

Them what turned up: Me, JodieK, Pandora, Lila, TallRoo, Great Neb, CatherineB, HamsterMan, Hexter, BaronWR, wertperch, Gritchka, call, fondue, Tiefling, StrawberryFrog, ascorbic, Oolong, booyaa, ReiToei, ponder, Nol, theboy, jobby - 24 folk in all. If I've missed anyone, msg me, my memory is shite, especially with made up names... (thanks to Oolong for prodding my brain) Ooh, someone left a message on my voicemail saying they couldn't make it, but didn't say who they were - who are you??

booyaa (BOOYAA! BOOYAA!) has a selection of photos, although they seem to have really been black squares after all... go here to see them:
http://igor.gold.ac.uk/~booyaa/snapshots/The_not_at_all_wittily_titled_end_of_2002_London_noder_meet/

If you really, really want to, go here for a picture of fondue's bizarre, terrifying sock-monkey:
http://www.babysewsoft.com/images/20monkey.jpg

If anyone else has piccies, let me know, I want to see them, touch them, and do terrible things to them involving jelly.

A wait in Emergency,
or,
Janos, 'Million-Dollar Man'

12:01 am

The admissions area of the Emergency room at Toronto Western Hospital is crowded again tonight. Toronto General Hospital's Emergency room remains closed with an outbreak of Norwalk virus and TWH is taking the extra load.

Last night my wife and I came by ambulance. When you arrive in style like that, you get to jump to the front of the queue at the Triage desk. Tonight I drove, so we have to take a number and wait, as if we're at the deli counter. We're number 47. We're only two numbers above the 'currently serving' display, but the duty nurse is nowhere to be seen so we may be in for a long wait. My wife is deathly pale and in serious distress, but there's nothing for it but to sit and hope.

The emergency area seems retrofitted from another purpose - possibly a temporary measure during TWH's multi-million dollar facelift. The waiting area is furnished with a mixture of cast-off single, double, and triple seat chair sets in different colours and materials. One half of the room is actually a former lobby with the double sliding doors taped off and the electric eye disabled. Another corner area is half-heartedly walled off with beige office baffles. In the top corner a 12" TV natters away for the amusement of the bored security guard. The TV is showing Aliens, but the viewing area's seats are dominated by an extended Asian family and their sacs of McDonald's offerings. It's better than last night's Ultimate Chopper infomercial, but I'm not in the mood for the adventures of Ripley and company at the moment. At least it's not Alien -- watching Kane thrash about on the mess table would have hit a bit too close to home.

My wife and I take a pair of seats on the other side of a baffle and settle in. I watch her bent almost double to try to cope with the pain, and I worry.

12:11 am

Paramedics arrive, with a young woman who looks like another Norwalk victim. They pull her stretcher up at Triage and wait for the duty nurse. There's something about the pumpkin-orange blankets they put on patients that gives a bit of colour to the cheeks of the pale and trembling woman as she sobs in the stretcher bed.

12:15 am

The duty nurse passes through to deal with the paramedic's patient. She's the same nurse we saw during the later part of our first visit yesterday. She's perhaps in her early thirties, with a positive yet professional attitude. Her Rubenesque figure fills out her blue scrubs nicely, giving just a hint of no-nonsense strength in case of trouble, but with her blonde shoulder-length bob taking any possible edge off things. She takes a moment to tell us that she remembers us from last night. That may help us a bit when our turn comes. I try not to resent the woman on the stretcher as she's wheeled to the emergency room doors.

I know the next scene by heart from the night before. The guard tells the paramedics to rinse their hands with a squirt from the alcohol-based gel dispenser by the door. One of the paramedics demurs. The guard insists. Norwalk protocol. No exceptions. The paramedics strip their surgical gloves and rinse as instructed, and then the guard wheels them in. Oddly, patients are exempt from this little ritual -- even though everyone else must rinse before entering or exiting the emergency room proper.

12:30 am

A new batch of paramedics arrive. On their stretcher is a short, stocky, and slightly greasy looking man. His legs are strapped in but he's sitting up. His dark windbreaker and green MEC backpack sit atop his legs on the bed. He looks about him with no apparent signs of distress. The duty nurse returns to the triage desk and comes out to size up the new arrival. Paramedic #1, a tall young fellow with a bodybuilder's frame starts to tell her about that the patient was found on the side of the road having a seizure. She waves him to silence distractedly. "Hello, Janos." she says to the patient. He smiles at her guiltily, like a little boy caught sneaking a few extra cookies. Paramedic #2 snorts in amusement. "You know this guy?" asks #1. The nurse nods. "Have you been drinking, Janos?" she asks him. "No!" Janos replies. "No, no, no!" he insists loudly.

The nurse and paramedic #1 discuss Janos. As they talk Janos yells at the nurse. "You lovely woman!" he tells her repeatedly. "Where'd you get him?" she asks the paramedics. "King and Parliament." says #2. "You were almost home, Janos." she tells Janos. Janos grins. She ignores him while they decide whether he needs further attention. Janos starts to shake in a convincing epileptic seizure. "Stop it, Janos!" she tells him sharply. He stops in mid-shiver and grins at her. Paramedic #2 snorts again. Finally they wheel Janos back into the emergency ward. Janos insists on rinsing his hands as they go in. I think dark thoughts.

12:42 am

A stocky young man in his early twenties arrives. He sits next to me, and tells me how he thinks his shoulder is dislocated. Apparently he was in a bar minding his own business when a fight broke out. He got involved for some reason that I didn't quite catch. Then the 'cops' arrived, and proceeded to 'beat the hell out of him.' He conjectures that his 'skulls' tee shirt and leather jacket set the cops off, since he certainly didn't do anything. Of course not.

12:46 am

The duty nurse calls us, interupting my seatmate's sad story. She sees us in the triage exam room, and notes the pertinent details of my wife's case, including our visit last night and discharge only 10 hours previosly, and the complete failure of the prescribed Tylenol 2s to alleviate her pain. We'd come originally to request Tylenol 3s but my wife's skin has taken on the grayish tone typical of a Vaso-vagal response and clearly something is seriously wrong. The duty nurse tells us we have priority for a bed as soon as one becomes free, but that there are no free beds in emerg. at present. Great.

We are formally registered and my wife gets her second TWH wristband in 24 hours. Back to the waiting area we go.

1:00 am

A brief rush of new patients arrives to fill the waiting area to overcapacity. A police officer arrives with a tall, handsome black man whose good looks are marred by the hasty bandage at the top of his temple and the bloody crease along the left side of his scalp. It looks to me like someone let him have a good wallop with a tire iron. Also new is a very sad looking old man holding his stomach in his hands. A pair of early 40s women in what appears to be biker/cougar chic stroll in, laughing and chatting happily. The more heavyset of the pair is covered in blood down the front of her lamé tee shirt and jeans, and is holding an ice bag to what can only be a serious head injury. Everyone takes a number and waits with calm patience, chatting as if it's a resort lounge. My seatmate tells the cop the same story he told me, with no sign on animosity.

Meanwhile the Aliens are inside the perimiter. The TV inflicts riotous gunfire on the Asian family as they try to sleep.

1:15 am

The tall dude with the lug nut shaped divot in his forehead was the victim of a home invasion at his rooming house. He has a strong Jamaican accent and a deep Barry White voice. I think idly that this guy must be quite the ladies' man on nights when he's not hanging out with Toronto's Finest at TWH ... he's got it all, including an easy charm as he tells his story. "I tol' her a hundred times, mon, lock the side door, but she never do it." he says. It turns out that a group of men broke into the home and attacked the landlady. Our hero tried to intervene and got thanked for his efforts with a little blunt instrument trauma. He's very philosophical about it.

The party girls have sauntered off arm-in-arm to the washroom, apparently to scrub off a bit of dried blood. I wonder if my first assessment of them as cougars was a bit off the mark, but I don't get to hear their story. There sure is a lot of blood on the injured one, but she seems curiously unconcerned.

I am amazed at how calm everyone is. If I was in emerg. with head trauma and nobody was helping me I'd be a bit on edge. Then again, my wife is now the colour of newspaper and here we sit quietly. What else can we do?

1:35 am

More cops - a young eager looking constable with a blond crew cut struts up to the counter. He looks like he learned his moves from Officer 'Ponch' of CHiPs as a boy. "Got a drunk for you!" he cheerily informs the nurse at triage - a younger, African-Canadian woman who seems to be spelling off the duty nurse at the moment. He tosses a dark windbreaker and a bag to the floor by the desk, commandeers a wheelchair and sails back out to the squad car. Something about the scene strikes me as peculiar but I can't place it.

A moment later he's back, along with his partner and their 'drunk.' Handcuffed and seated in the wheelchair is none other than Janos. Constable Crew Cut grabs the MEC knapsack and starts rummaging in it. "No!" Janos cries. "No, no, no!" but Crew Cut ignores him. He produces a poker hand of blue hospital ID cards, and selects one as if performing a magic trick. "This one's yours." he tells the Triage station nurse.

Crew Cut chats with a paramedic crew for a few minutes. Janos continues to protest but is roundly ignored. Then the duty nurse returns. Crew Cut starts to explain about the seizure their prize was having when they picked him up. She ignores him. "Back again, eh, Janos?" she asks. Janos gives her his little boy smile, and then proceeds to complain about the policemen. It's not very coherent but the cuffs are clearly unwelcome. The duty nurse tries to get the police to take Janos home, but Crew Cut refuses. Janos has to be examined. "The desk sergeant will kill me if I don't have the paperwork." he says. They argue, but Crew Cut wins. Janos sails past us for the second time. He wants to rinse his hands but since they are cuffed behind him he has no luck this time. I resent Janos, Constable Crew Cut and his desk sergeant with equanimity.

3:35 am

A bed frees up and they take my wife in for assessment. I'm not allowed inside because of the Norwalk quarantine so I watch her shuffle down the hallway. The woman with all the blood on her went in sometime before us. Barry White's still waiting, as is the sad old man. Dislocated shoulder guy got handled sometime in there and is gone. The Asian family has been taking shifts but nothing seems to be resolved for them yet. The duty nurse tells me it'll be hours before my wife is assessed, and I might as well go home. I've been awake for almost 40 hours so this seems like a good idea.

My wife gets a bed near Janos. She reports that he runs his seizure routine a few times, and then checks surreptitiously to see if anyone's watching. If not, he stops. He also is messily sick at least twice, both times contriving to miss the bowl given to him to collect vomit. Each time he draws the attention of two nurses plus a maintenance person who has to clean up the vomit. Janos spends the night in emerg., surrounded by people who know him by name, while sick and injured people continue their lonely wait in the lobby.

11:59 am

My wife goes for a CT scan. The problem is finally determined, and she goes for surgery later that day. She's recovering now, and that's about all we'd like to say about that.

Epilogue

Friends in the medical profession tell me that Janos is a specimen of the so-called 'Million dollar man.' Over his lifetime he will engage over $1 Million worth of emergency care resources. Not only does he deprive others of that care, but he could probably be enrolled in programs that would get him off the streets and into society for a tenth of that cost. But nobody can force him, and he's got a schtick that gets him a warm, dry bed whenever he wants it. Not for nothing does he have a card from every major hospital in Toronto.

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