Saturday, February 17, 2007


If this time here isn't good for writing, at least it's good for my Buddhist practice. I'm thinking mostly of the part where I'm trying to learn not to hate annoying people. And I'm doing pretty well. I want so badly to describe these people here, but I think I probably shouldn't.

Anyway, I haven't figured out how and where I'm going to write yet. There's a computer lounge with several computers and a few comfortable chairs and a sign that says it's a "quiet area." But it's usually not. Quiet, that is. The last two days, a woman has been sitting at one of the computers playing some sort of Where's Waldo-type game and talking baby talk to her girlfriend, going back and forth between complimening her "back," ("you are so sexy to me, it don't matter what you say, just you talking to me turns me on") and consoling her through what seems from this end to be some sort of crying jag ("oh baby, I wish I could kiss your tears"). How could anyone write when there's that to listen to?

I should just ask her to be quiet. I want to, but I don't. She's bigger than me.

Between meals, the dining room can be quiet. But there's a TV in there, so often someone will be in there watching it. If I come in here, like now, and it's just me, I turn the TV off. But at any moment someone might come in and turn it back on. The bedroom is my best bet for quiet, but it's hard to stay focused and alert in bed. I get drowsy and kind of achey if I lie in bed for very long. And even in there, people talk on the phone, or nap and snore.

Yesterday, several of us were waiting in the procedure room to have our vital signs checked, and there was a simultaneous lull in the various conversations, a rare silent moment. I was just becoming aware of it and feeling my body relax for the first time in days when someone said loudly, "It's too quiet in here. Somebody sing or something!"

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