In reflecting on my last post, I want to add that while I tend to notice the people outside of the hospital in a way that is different from how I notice other people I pass, some of the hospital sidewalk pacers themselves remain studiously every-day. They wheel their drips out to the sidewalk in their hospital gowns, or roll out in their wheelchairs, and smoke their cigarettes.
Is there anything more mundane than smoking, anything that better suggests that life goes on? Sure I was just in for an emergency appendectomy, but I’m going to have my cigarette now.
Lest I sound critical of these steadfast smoking patients, let me hasten to add that I have a healthy respect for denial – and it seems to me that smoking outside your hospital room is denial in action. The point of life is to live it, and if looking the reality of one’s situation full in the face does nothing but stir up a cocktail of anxiety chemicals, then I say deny up a storm.
So put that in your pipe and smoke it.