Ruby

Boxy hospital clothes.

“Why did you take the Advil?”

“Cramps.”

It smells like hand sanitizer. The generic hospital kind.

I think about David, the homeless man with all the cross necklaces around his neck, the same clothes and white hair every day, the limp and the twitch, the leathery hands that hand me what he thinks is the $2.47 in change to buy a large iced coffee with chocolate, caramel, mocha, and coconut shots, cream, and two sugars.

He doesn’t hand me quite enough. I reach into my pocket and add what I find to the fistful of nickels.

My co-workers hate him because he’s mentally unstable. They think he’s dangerous. But he’s never hurt anyone as far as any of us know. He comes in, says please and thank you, asks if he’s allowed to sit inside, and doesn’t bother anybody.

I get blood drawn a couple times and feel a little dizzy. I pee in a cup. Stickers are stuck all over my chest and legs and attached to wires that make a machine beep behind me. A blood pressure thing is put around my arm at least five times.

David doesn’t want to hurt anyone. He wants me to teach him about DDPerks and how to use a computer.

I just had some abdominal cramps. ♦