Updated: Jan 10, 2022
Her heels, like castanets, break the silence in the main room. She's brought an entourage of volunteers who scope out the crowd before decorating, revising playlists, and planning the best way to cut three overpriced birthday cakes with a dull plastic knife.
It isn't anyone's birthday, It probably isn't a holiday or even a faux fill-in-the-blank with something trivial made-up day. This is a surprise party to celebrate the achievement of waking up this morning.
"You're coming to my party later, right?" she asks the groggy, confused new patients as if they have a choice.
There is no escaping this party. The music spills out of the front room into the hall. and inevitably she'll call "Soul Train Line in front of the nurse's station" over the PA system.
She remembers the faces and favorite songs of all the patients, but not their names. But that's okay, it makes it easier for her to write about them. The anecdotes are true. The names have been changed to best describe their personalities, and because she really can't remember.