There is a tunnel built under the hospital that travels beneath Euclid avenue. I walk through this tunnel several times a day, and am reminded that it is, indeed, a tunnel, by the elevator that speaks with a freakishly human-sounding voice, “T. Tunnel”. Like I don’t know that T stands for Tunnel. The children visiting the Pediatrics unit can get an alphabet lesson standing in the elevator, and parents can marvel at the intelligence of the woman hidden between the floors. We are a miracle working health facility while striving to provide your toddlers with the tools they will need as they grow. Like how to press the T button in the elevator if they need to cross Euclid avenue and don’t want to go outside where they could potentially be solicited by drug dealers and prostitutes. Ok, this is not true. They’ll really just get hit by a car. It’s probably mine because I have no patience for pedestrians. But I am not a prostitute yet, so don’t worry about me whoring out your little girl to my pimp.
Anyway…there’s a tunnel. That I walk through. A lot. And whoever designed this thing was smart because not only am I safe from the outdoor elements, but I am calmed-the-fuck-down. Seriously? My jaw is clenched tightly from the time I wake up in the morning, through the night, and still stressed out when I wake up the next day. The roots of my teeth are exposed, my gums are receding because I continuously grind and clench my jaw. Why? It probably has something to do with those dumb-ass pedestrians that don’t walk fast enough or the car in front of me that doesn’t realize that I will crush him in his rusted-ass cavalier if he doesn’t start driving immediately through that yellow light, because dammit! People don’t STOP for YELLOW!!
Ok, so there’s a tunnel? At the Clinic? and I walk through it? A lot? And the person that designed it decided that it would be wonderfully calming to include pastel colored lights that change shades as you walk. There is also classical music streaming through the speakers as my feet caress the institutionally clean floors. Everything is shiny and colorful and musical, and I can’t help but imagine that this is heaven. A 5 minute heaven that I can escape to several times a day. There are even servant-people that will drive you through the tunnel on little carts if you’re handicapped, old, fat or too tired to walk. I never ride the cart, though, because I’m too tired to know that I’m old, fat, too tired to walk, and most probably mentally handicapped. Each time I ascend the escalator at the end of this tunnel, I hope that I will come face to face with an angel (not God, because I’m not ready for Him yet…I need to repent)…but instead, I am faced with crowds of wheelchairs and crutches and slow walkers and doctors that will run me down onto the carpet if their pager tells them to, and patients’ families that are off of work for the day and have nothing better to do than to stroll the halls of the Cleveland Clinic because what the hell else are they going to do while Junior’s in surgery when there’s a cafeteria waiting to be emptied of every over-priced morsel? And wouldn’t you know it?? That’s exactly where I’M headed…so OF COURSE they want to walk that way in slow, small, steps WHILE I’M ON MY LUNCH BREAK THAT ONLY LASTS FOR 10 MORE MINUTES!
And my jaw wants to bite them. Do you think I’d get fired?
T is for Tantrum. And I’m throwing one.
This is not intended to offend anyone who may or may not be in a hospital because they are extremely ill. This blog supports the efforts of the Cleveland Clinic. It does not, however, support stupid drivers.