The Waiting Room


There are truths in the universe. One truth is that the trip to the waiting room is as unique as the traveler. Some apparently have no concerns, they pop through that door as comfortably as someone going from their living room into their kitchen.

I am dumbfounded at their ease. I am on that other end of the scale, the one that delays as long as I can. I may make the appointment, but when the time comes I begin to get nervious. I have sometimes conveniently “forgotten” the date and time. When I can no longer delay, the actual trip to the waiting room is filled with feelings of apprehension and tangible fear.

When I’m actually in the building, going down that long corridor, the walls seem to impel me along, contracting at the peripheri of my vision, almost forcing me through the door. It doesn’t matter that there is a smiling face welcoming me in the waiting room, It doesn’t matter that the room is comfortable and nicely decorated. The fact that I am there at all is disturbing enough.

Another truth is that the waiting room is a perfect place to divert your attention from the real reason that you are there. It is true that some waiting rooms are more comfortable than others, and it is also true that some are cold and spartan, but in nearly every case there is an abundance of media and information to peruse. Sit in any waiting room and watch how fast people enter and immerse themselves immediately in some diverting activity. Everyone knows that this place is temporary, that the real reason is beyond that other door, the one beyond the waiting room, but we fill the time with some magazine article as if that was the real reason we came in the first place. I’ve even seen people bring the magazines into the next room once that fateful door is finally opened. This is a waiting room, why can’t we simply wait?

Perhaps we can’t take the pressure of having that “conversation ” on the other side. Perhaps we are embarassed by our ignoring the rules, and the obvious impact that ignorance has on our body. The “truth” is on the other side of the door, here on this side, I can read about movie stars, drink coffee, do a little work on the laptop that I brought with me. I can fill every minute with activity until the real reason I am there is only a dim memory.

A friend had a mild heart attack yesterday, and today I’m thinking about my own mortality and how many ways I am abusing it. I wonder for how long I can clearly see that life is a waiting room, before I will find another diversion for the real reason why I’m here.

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