“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country” – Kurt Vonnegut
99% of the patients we transport are just trying to get through the day. Not given to conversation. Riding in silence. Resigned.
We pick them up. Drop them off. And on to the next one.
And then there are the attention getters.
Make you ride higher in the driver’s seat. Kind of unconsciously force you to increase pressure on the accelerator.
Picked up Margaret at the OU psychiatric hospital for transportation home. 42 years old.
Margaret: Sorry I’m late. Had issues and the session took longer. (1 hour longer)
Me: You okay?
Margaret: Yeah. Got my meds. I’m OK. Sometimes I just want to hurt somebody. You know….really mess them up.
Me: (quick look in the rear view mirror. She seems sort of agitated. Hard lines on her face.) It’s Ok Margaret. I didn’t mind the wait. I get paid by the hour. (trying to keep the atmosphere light)
Silence. No response.
A very long 10 minute ride. A real uncomfortable situation. Quick, furtive peeks in the back. Hoping she took her meds.
Then there was Samantha. 31.
Picked her up around 10 am for an appointment at the OBGYN clinic. She waddles up the sidewalk. Obviously very pregnant.
I joke……Birthing is not allowed in the van.
Better get going then. I’m 9 months pregnant and this one is real close.
Wow. OK. Hit the road Jack. We are out of here.
So is this your first?
Nope. My 5th.
(Oh My God. Don’t they get easier and faster with each successive one? This one will probably pop out like a champagne cork. Damn…..I didn’t sign up for this.)
(Hit a bump in the road. Was that a moan from the back? Why are my hands shaking?)
(Got to get a grip. Avoid all bumps)
(Oh my God…..my bladder is talking to me. Not now. Please God. Almost there. Just 5 more minutes.)
In the end….we made it.
“If you are unable to feel fear, you cannot be courageous” – The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo