The woman in the bed next to me reads a pocket-size Bible along with a magazine which she makes notes in the margins of. The man on her other side peppers his sentences with "Jesus" and "the Lord," etc., even when he's just talking about mowing the lawn. He also sniffs, or I should say snorts because it's that sound people make when they're imitating a pig, in the morning. I want to say, "Jesus Christ, blow your nose!" but 1) we're here together for another 12 days so I don't want an enemy, and 2) I just don't usually yell at people until I'm ready to kill them, and it's not really that bad.
I spend so much of my life avoiding proximity with Christians that it's always a strange surprise to witness what a constant, almost physical presence this thing called Jesus is in the lives of so many people. If I can put aside my revulsion for a moment, it's exotic and fascinating. It's like in an anthropology class when you might read about some hunter-gatherer tribe that leaves babies in the forest to die or something and it's horrifying but really interesting to consider that that behavior is totally normal to them.
There's still another guy, across from us, who is preoccupied with all things Bible. He moseys over every once in a while and engages the Jesus snorty guy in conversation. This guy seems to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible, old and new testament. I can't judge his accuracy. He's one of those people who have a pet theory about everything. Did you know that Jesus did not say one thing about "hope"? Didn't so much as mention it. He (Jesus) also apparently never recommended that people pray in public together. Yesterday in the dining room, there was something on local news about a child who allegedly had been beaten to death by its mother's boyfriend. Bible Guy's take on the story was that women who take up with violent men shouldn't be surprised when their children get murdered. Bible Guy wears Bud-Lite flannel pajama bottoms, and for some reason that softens my heart toward him.
Today is a slow day. We started at 6 with urine collection and then an ECG and vital signs. Then a blood draw and breakfast, which was a bowl of raisin bran and a bran muffin (with raisins! it was a theme I guess), orange juice, and skim milk. They took our blood again after breakfast, and now for the rest of the day there's nothing on the schedule but meals.
(Lunch, if you're curious, was a small sub sandwich with turkey (I think it was turkey), some kind of white gluey cheese, tomato and shredded lettuce. On the side were packets of mayo, mustard, and pickle relish, and a small bag of Cheezits, a 4-oz. carton of some kind of juice drink, and an oatmeal cookie.)
Today is Day 4. Day 2 was like this, but Days 1 and 3 were dose days (days when we take the drug being studied) and those were very hectic with procedures all day. Lots of ECGs and blood draws. Starting with Day 6, we dose every day, and there are several glucometer readings throughout the day. (It's a drug for diabetes that we're testing.) I think the glucometer involves getting our fingertips stabbed. Looking at the number of times this is going to happen, I fear my fingertip will be a bloody pulp by the time I get out of here.