The doctor, replete with his I-Make-More-Than-You-Will-Ever-Know Smirk and I-Wash-The-Gruel-From-America's-Future Smock, had narrowly ducked his head in the doorway for but a moment, his mouth agape to reveal the prognosis - and, God willing, the permission to leave - before a cacophony of voices and mechanical wails sounded from the next room over, leaving Joe to ponder his fate and wrestle with the gnawing of his restlessness.
Lying in this bed of pale palettes, Joe was defenseless against the tide of thoughts and concerns wafting about in his battered head, somewhere beneath the bandage and to the right of his bruise, and now they all came creeping up on him, clawing and scratching and --
"Sorry, son," the doctor mumbled as we strode back into the room, his eyes fixed on his clipboard. "False alarm, thank our lucky stars."
"Fantastic," Joe replied without an ounce of conviction.
"Looks like we're going to have to keep--" the doctor began.
Oh god oh god oh god don't you dare say you're keeping me you fucking asshole don't you keep me here you can't keep me here I have places to be I have things to see I have stories to tell don't you fucking tell me you're keeping me here another minute you smug prick I'm a free man and I'm well enough I swear I'm well enough Get me out of here Casey where the fuck are you Don't you say it don't you fucking say it
"-- your fingers bandaged for a couple weeks yet for the bones to heal, but other than that, I'd say you're A-Okay to check out of here this afternoon."
God bless you you beautiful man with your pen and your smock and your winning smile My angel of mercy and release Thank you for saving me and all my insides I'm so ready to go Get me out of this bed right now I can walk I can run
"Now, I suspect you'll be experiencing some discomfort for a while yet. You may find it difficult to walk great distances, so try to keep off your feet as best you can. You'll probably stay sore for a while, too, but that's normal."
Sore yes that's fine I've been sore before No big deal I don't have to walk doctor I can run I wonder if I'll need a cane I don't want a cane I don't want to walk with a cane But if it means I can walk God Blessed I'll use a fucking cane just get me out of this white-washed prison cell
"You have someone coming to pick you up, yes?"
"My friends are here," Joe nodded. "Well, some of them. I think Mali's at the gift shop."
"The nurse will be by later with some forms for you to sign. Now, listen son, if you get on your feet and find you need to come back--"
No nope no sir not coming back I fucking hate these hospitals They smell like death and disease and all the cleaning chemicals you throw on the walls to clean up afterwards Oh God I smell like that too How long until I can take a shower Do they have public showers How much would they cost Where the fuck is Mali Why are you still talking you self-righteous cocksucker
"-- please don't hesitate. You're lucky your injuries weren't more severe."
You're lucky I don't leap from this bed and rain stabbity death on you and your stupid smock with that fountain pen tucked in your pocket Just want to leave just want to leave just want to leave
"Well, good luck to you son. Hopefully we won't be seeing you back here any time soon," the doctor concluded and left with a nod.
Joe sighed passively, then felt the flutter of sleep drift upon him, tuckered out from his mental assault on the lurid man in white.
"Colorado it is," he sighed just as unconsciousness took him.