After I got to the Race station stop I got off the train and headed for the street above me. When I entered the hustle and bustle of center city I decided to hold off on my hospital appointment and get something to eat. I went to the local pizza shop across from Hannneman Hospital. Inside the customers ranged from doctors, nurses, EMTs, average Joes, and even a patient with her headed wrapped in full bandages while carrying a walker. I ate a slice of pizza and drank a ginger ale.
After lunch I headed across the street to the hospital to get the first of a 4-part PPD test for tuberculosis. The test is a requirement for Drexel University’s nursing program of which I will soon be starting. I take note that no one in the city actually notices that other people are alive. It is as if we are all walking blindly, robotically to our destinations, hoping not to catch someone’s eye. In a city so big and so populated, it feels like we are so alone.
I arrive at the Occupational medicine department after passing many corners and hallways presenting framed photos of all the tourist destinations Philly can offer: Love Park, the Liberty Bell, City Hall, the Art Museum. While waiting for the test I overheard a woman in the waiting room telling another woman that she had just been hired for a 12 hour night shift, I assume for a nursing position. This woman had joked that she was trying to become a bat given her shift hours. The woman entertaining the news commented that the night shift nurse should purchase a blackout curtain. Before I was called in for the test an elderly employee of the hospital, most likely a doctor, came in the room requesting the same test I was waiting for. He was dressed for a golf game and his impatience reinforced the idea. The odd thing about the man was his legs. The botchy purple color of poor circulation and slight edema suggested something was wrong. The discoloration was made worse by the raised lumps blanketing the surface of his shins and outer calves.
After the hospital I stopped by the bank on Broad and Walnut. I was standing in line behind a very elderly emaciated, toothpick-of-a man. He was dressed in a fashion typical of an old man. The pants were old, tight, faded and pulled slightly higher than his natural waist. This position left a few inches of his socks above his shoes visible. The shirt was collared and he wore thick black-framed glasses underneath a large straight brim ball cap. The man’s neck was taut and his muscles were clearly visible. His hands holding the documentation of his complaints to the teller were thin, fragile and all lines of muscles, veins, and bones were clearly defined through his skin blotched with age and red spots. He was repeating himself several times over. I am sure the teller understood his complaint, but the man thought it necessary to redefine his reason for going to the bank. As expected, his documentation was all hand written and contained copies of his statement received in the mail. On-line banking was not a familiarity for this determined gentlemen.
After the bank, I made a quick trip to the post office. The post office is located underground in the Septa center market where the Orange and Blue lines intersect. The concourse to my train home was filed with the sounds of a violinist producing audible delight in hopes of receiving monetary gain. The subway ride home was quick and then it was off to work.
I was riding the SEPTA home. Because the SEPTA consists of a series of connected trains, the passenger can leave one car and travel to the next to find available seating. The passenger must move between the cars through 2 doorways (one on each car). There is a small exposed platform between the two cars that is dangerous to be on when the train is in motion. Today one young boy was standing on this platform amusing or trying to impress his peers (who were safely inside). A middle-aged man got out of his seat walked over and banged on the glass window of the door and instructed the boy to return to the safety of the interior of the car. Which the boy did. Living in a big city like Philadelphia, it is very easy to turn the other way and totally disconnect yourself from everything around you. People do it all the time. A man was attacked on the SEPTA by an attacker with a hammer and no one did anything to stop the violence or assist the victim. This man took it upon himself to walk over and prevent what could have been a very dangerous if not deadly event. It made me wonder how often we as people avoid doing what's easiest and most impactful just because "we can't be bothered" or "it's not my responsibility." Maybe we should be more like the guy on the train today. Hey I took the time to verbally praise him while we were walking up the Pattison Stop steps. He deserved it. He didn't ask for and that's the point.
- Current Location:home
- Current Music:Conditions
I have always considered “a new year’s resolution” to be silly untruths people claim in an attempt to somehow change their current situation. But I find myself biting the preverbal lure. I resolve to write more in 2009. More specifically I am going to put into words my daily life. Now this is not a novel or even noble goal. I mean people have been writing in journals since the invention of the written language. Everyone from Anne Frank to Da Vinci kept journals, so why not me?
I have just returned home to
I think there is going to be a meteor shower tomorrow morning. It’s cold as hell outside, but I may make the drive north of the city and try to catch a few. But all the same I would be happy if it snowed, but it’s unlikely.
- Current Location:home
- Current Mood: optimistic
- Current Music:The Avett Brothers