A day transporting my peer group from hospital to hospital: brain tumour, heart issues, stroke… The transport vehicle was a state of the art Mercedes, suspension like a dream, turbo charged, computerised, fuel efficient… There were cell phones galore, a central communication device, GPS, radio, defib, suction unit, water bottles, pain relief – all under control. Except the nurse had lost her car key – a new car, it would have to be put onto the back of a truck and transported to the dealer, the ignition renewed, insurance doesn’t cover it, it was going to cost thousands of dollars. In between moments of panic, pet dogs and their ways were discussed. They sounded pampered creatures. The tumour was miserable and angry at her body turning on her, one of the hearts was vulnerable (inflammation of the pericardium, obviously painful and scary), the other okay except needs to give up the smokes. The stroke hadn’t affected speech but swallowing and legs. One heart was garrulous, perhaps a little demented. On the radio there were endless songs about love – mainly unrequited, boom, boom, beat, beat. In between, manic ads and occasionally the news as scandal or a sporting event of national import. In A&E the wounded lay on beds awaiting processing, dumb struck by fate. Why me? Why today? Sometimes a worried partner sat beside them.
Eventually the key was found – great relief.
And then the lines of commuters driving home.
I was being paid, so this was work. I could be doing it every day, using the money to subsist and acquire some private capital. This could be my life, driving endless miles, ferrying people between medical facilities, hearing of private dramas and listening to songs of unrequited love and consumer possibilities. A waste of time? A waste of a life? Useful? Is the questioning a ridiculous arrogance?
I certainly got the feeling of human beings with a lot of high tech stuff which sometimes turns on them. Robots turning on people? If we haven’t quite reached that situation we’re heading there fast. Meanwhile, like pampered aristocrats, we become stupid.
Mission accomplished I had to fill up the vehicle… can I remember the password? It’s been months… Rejected. Try something else. Accepted. Relief. One to go. Filling in the timesheet. Password? I wrote it down somewhere. Where? Not this notebook. Guess. Whew. The robot accepted my answer. I drove home, cross eyed.
In the morning there were lots of birds dancing on the lawn.
At that moment, I preferred dinosaurs.