Wait, Madam! There is comedy in your purse

Spread the word! Rich wears women's underwear (No, not THAT word!) What I meant was, spread the word that this BLOG makes polio string cheese come out all of your orafices. And if it doesn't, lie to your friends and say it does. Rich is tired of sucking scrotum to get ahead, and he wants a real job, one that pays. So come on in! I have Hot Pockets in the fridge

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Beginning of Chapter 3 (Chapter 3 is looong)

When Margaret woke up in the hospital, she realized that she had once again teleported, but this time, she was actually somewhere comfortable, somewhere…well, not safe, but at least she wasn’t in handcuffs anymore. Or maybe (just work with me here) it wasn’t teleportation at all. MAYbe she was just moved here by some great force like God or a giant Hershey’s candy bar that levitated like a magic carpet. Margaret desperately hoped it was the latter, but she couldn’t dismiss the former, quite frankly it could have been anything.

But it definitely wasn’t teleportation and Margaret had given up on that theory because it was stupid and it didn’t make sense. Teleportation? Please, who could teleport? That idea wasn’t smrat like the idea of a flying candy bar. It wasn’t smrat like that at all.

So it was settled then, a flying candy bar it was. Probably. But as she started to get up and cricked her neck, she soon realized that the idea of teleportation or a flying candy bar were the least of her problems. Her neck was in abnormally horrible pain. “Ah, ah , ah, ah,” Margaret squealed with tightly clamped eyes that had tears streaking out the sides of them. “What the hell happened?”

“You must have gotten yourself in a bit of a nasty shuffle, that's what happened.”

The voice was creaky like a loose drawbridge that couldn’t handle anymore occupants on it just as the most obese man in the village was about to cross it. Meaning? It sounded like it could give way at any second now. Margaret turned her head to the right to see who was behind the rickety voice and felt the pain ricocheting down her spine again. To her right, she saw a glass full of human teeth. Whose, she didn’t know. But behind the glass, all wiggly and disproportionate and blue, was an old woman with wrinkles that stretched all across her face and made her look like a pale pool of waves with ears. She was wearing a pink night gown that had her liver spotted backside clearly visible, and she was sitting up knitting an afghan, her nibble fingers going end over end.

“I’m sorry if I sounded a little psychotic last night, honey, but they had me on these pills that made me all walla wallo woooo!” the old lady said while throwing her hands up in the air and waving them like she just didn’t care that Margaret was staring at her mystified. And that’s because there was just something about this old woman that reminded Margaret of Mildred from her apartment complex in 3G. It was something in the jaundiced old skin and the way she waved her arms around a lot making the wiggly skin beneath her arms jiggle that did it, and this made Margaret smile. But when she smiled, she felt a dull cavernous hole in her mouth where teeth should have been, and

Wait a minute!

Were those HER TEETH underneath that cup by her bed? Surely that guy at the ShopRite couldn’t have possibly knocked them out, could he have? Margaret glided her tongue along the edge of the back of her gums and felt…nothing.

At that moment, Margaret felt infinitely weak and powerless lying back in her bed, but as the scintillating sun splashed her chest, it gave her the strength to try to sit up. She wanted to walk out, knock some of his teeth out as revenge and wear his molars around her neck like a necklace, but as soon as she tried, there in flew the pain again.

“You’re not going to get out of here like that, lady,” the old woman said, not looking away from the gray and brown afghan she was stitching together, her other eye on the mute TV screen she had in the corner that was broadcasting replays from last night’s Knicks’ game. “Terrible,” she muttered as she shook her head at the Knick’s atrocious defense.

The ceiling was spinning when Margaret lied back down. “Why is life so hard?” she blurted out to herself, talking out loud again as if nobody else was in the room with her (her solipsism is astounding). The old woman just scoffed at her.

“Your life? Hard? Ha! Just ‘cause you lost a few teeth and you got all bruised up that makes life hard? Don’t be such a pussy, I lost all my teeth years ago, see?” And then the old woman put her afghan down, peeled her lips apart with her skinny fingers and opened them wide and showed the grand canyon that was her gums. “Just ‘cause you lose a few teeth here or there doesn’t make life hard, I have terminal cancer, do YOU have terminal cancer?”

Margaret said, “No, ma’am,” but didn’t know why she added the “ma’am” part. It just slipped out.

The old woman shook her head and picked back up her afghan, “So stop whining then,” she said and didn’t have anything else to say. She remained silent for a long time while the TV was the only voice left in the room. It wasn’t until the overall silence, plus the maddening sound of the old woman’s needles clicking together that Margaret decided that she needed to start talking before she went insane.

“What kind of cancer do you have?” Margaret asked.

“Throat” The old woman said.

“Oh…” Margaret said. And at that, was at a loss for words. She had thought this gangsta granny had something cooler, like pancreatic cancer or femur cancer or something like that, the abruptness of this fairly average cancer made Margaret a little upset, as it was like a shortcoming of an abrasion that’s not quite purple, and not quite blue, either. It just was what it was; plain and entirely ordinary.

When Margaret tried to sit up again, she had a hard time but managed it, something about this strange old woman made her want to sit up and see beyond her cup of teeth.

“My name’s Margaret, what’s yours?”

“Margaret,” she said without skipping a beat in her knitting.

(GASP! Margaret thought. She had the same name!) “Are you sure?” Margaret asked so surprised by this minor coincidence, her jaw the size of a beach ball.

“What the hell do you mean, ‘am I sure?’ Of course, I’m sure! I’ve been a Margaret since before your mother was letting scumbags get to second with her tets. That was a stupid question,” the old woman barked. “Now ask another.”

Margaret put pressure on her arms and pushed herself up even more (This woman wasn’t like Mildred in 3G at all!) but just as she did, an Asian nurse in light blue ran in with a worried looked on her face. “No, no, no, no, no,” she said, visibly upset. “Lie back down.” She scampered over to Margaret and pushed her back down upon her pillow until Margaret was completely on her back. Rats, all that work for nothin’. In normal circumstances, this nurse would be sprawled out on the ground by now with blood leaking from her hair, but right now, Margaret was too weak to put up a fight. Hell, she was too weak to even curse her out.

But in all truths, Margaret didn’t really feel like fighting back right now anyway, she was serenely in another frame of mind than the one she was normally in. They must have sedated her with something.

When Margaret was all the back down, the nurse, her name tag saying “Rona,” fluffed her pillow as if Margaret’s head wasn’t even there, and then walked out humming a Louie Armstrong song. The urge to kill began to rise again in Margaret’s heart.

While only a few moments ago, Margaret was swimming in a perpetual LaLa land, now, she was Margaret fuming angrily on her backside. The old woman, we’ll call her old Margaret, just stared over at her and wondered what the hell was wrong now. “Oh, don’t mind her,” Old Margaret said, her voice almost soothing, “her name is Rona, and she doesn’t mean any harm, she’s just being precautious and has other things on her mind. Don’t get all riled up about it.”

But even with Old Margaret’s newfound friendliness towards Margaret, she was still pissed off beyond recognition, her chest rising. There was just something about people humming Louie Armstrong songs that just always set her off. YOU CAN’T HUM LOUIE ARMSTRONG, you can only sing it! Or was it hum? Now Margaret was confused. Margaret didn’t know anymore, and the fact that she didn’t know pissed her off even more. She didn’t stop fuming until she heard Old Margaret coughing up her lungs into her hands, the sound of it sounding like a train flying off its tracks into a stained glass window. Margaret looked over at old Margaret and stared with sympathetic eyes. She forgot she was even there.

“Lady,” Margaret began, but then rethought it and said, “Margaret.”

Old Margaret didn’t say anything but “cough, cough, cough.”

Margaret tried again. “Margaret, are you okay?”

Still no response. All Old Margaret had to say was “cough, cough, cough.”

Eventually she stopped coughing, but when she did, she let out little hacking noises that gradually made her body slump down against her bed, her head now staring upward just as young Margaret’s was only a few seconds ago. There wasn’t a peep on the room for at least four minutes. It was then Old Margaret this time who uttered the first words.

“You think you got it tough, kid?” Old Margaret finally asked into her fist after her coughs subsided, her eyes a stony blue gaze that had no future in them. “Knowing that you’re going to die coughing to death, now THAT’S tough,” she said, and then just stared up at the ceiling, her chest heaving and her lungs wheezing all the while.

The two of them remained quiet for a very long time until eventually, Margaret
had thought that Old Margaret had possibly died, as Old Margaret had her eyes closed, Margaret called out to her. “Margaret!” she yelled, Old Margaret opened her eyes again, they’d only been closed for about four minutes.

“Yeah?” she asked, her voice distant. And just then, Margaret assaulted her moribund roommate with a question that was so out of the blue that it was almost purple. Margaret asked her, “What kind of car does your family drive?” Old Margaret chortled, it sounded like a frog urinating in another frog’s mouth it was so dirty. “Ha, you want to know about my family? Yeah, I got a whole lot of family.” This made Margaret smile. “Under the ground,” This made Margaret frown.

Old Margaret turned her head to Margaret and asked, “Why’d you ask such a stupid question?”

Margaret sat up again and looked over at this woman above her cup of teeth, holding herself up with one arm while the sanguine sun shone brilliantly on. “Well, I just wanted to know, that’s all.”

“Nobody just wants to know anything, so spill it, sister. Why’d you ask?”

And at this, Margaret was at a loss for words. She didn’t exactly know WHAT she was supposed to spill, but since Old Margaret wanted a show, Margaret decided to give her one. So she started talking aimlessly about nothing in particular. She talked about her little brother, her pacifist parents, her run-ins with the law and then…

“Nickels!”

Old Margaret pointed weakly to the floor by the foot of her bed, she was pointing at a pocketbook. “I probably got some in there if you’re really that strapped for cash.”

Margaret clarified. “No, not nickels. Nickels! My cat…” and then Margaret told her THAT story, too. Old Margaret listened on intently.

***
“So that’s all you got left in this world, huh, hun?” Old Margaret asked, now sitting up and interested, her cough gone. Hopefully, Rona wouldn’t show up and make them lie back down as their bodies were far too drained and weak by this point to possibly sit back up like this again. “Yeah,” Margaret said, her eyes staring down at her hands buried beneath her covers, her eyes wet.

“Hey, don’t be so…so…” a fit of coughing, and then, “so down, honey, you really want that cat back, huh?”

Margaret nodded, her ears hearing but not listening.

Old Margaret sat back against her pillow and crossed her skinny little arms again, angry at herself for actually feeling sympathy for this young girl. “Well, I want to get out of here but that won’t happen anytime soon [actually, it will] so I guess that makes us BOTH fucked, huh?”

And Margaret conceded petulantly, shaking her head like a little girl who doesn’t get her way. But as the two of them continued to sit there internally bemoaning their predicament, something hit them at the exact same time. Why not try and make a break for it?

“Let’s blow this popsicle stand!” they both said simultaneously. And at that, they both gathered all the strength they could to fully sit all the way up again. They had no time to lose. They had a popsicle stand they needed to blow.

***

Getting up was tough, but once they finally did it (Margaret was up first, Old Margaret took a late second) the two of them were out of bed and as spry as pie when they got up and tiptoed to the door, searching for a way out. “Shhh, quiet,” Margaret said even though Old Margaret hadn’t even made a sound. At the door, Margaret slowly, very slowly, peeked her head out and looked both ways, with the coast clear, she and then pulled her head back in all the way.

“What’d you see?” Old Margaret asked.

“Wheel chairs, people.”

“Lots of them?”

“Wheelchairs?” Margaret asked, perturbed by the question.

“No!” Old Margaret snarled, smacking Margaret on the back of her head, “People, were there lots of ‘em?”

“Not lots, just little” Margaret responded with a wince expecting another smack on the neck, “I think if we just lay low, we can get out of here, no problem.”

Old Margaret, now not so angry, winked at Margaret and then agreed to proceed, but before they could make a move, two uncovered legs stood in their path. When they looked up, who should they happen to look up and see but Rona, their nurse. She was aghast to find her two patients (Who she had already fallen to calling mother/baby) out of their beds. She was holding a bed pan and two cups of apple juice that sat on top of the pan. The two cups were shaking.

“What are you two doing out of bed?” Rona asked, her eyes wide with consternation and the fear of God in them.

“We were, uhhhhh…” Margaret began, she hadn’t been prepared for THIS.

But apparently, Old Margaret had, and she had already crawled all the way around Rona’s legs and gotten behind them, before Rona hadn’t seen her. Old Margaret was too fast, and all Rona saw (or thought she saw) was a blur on the floor like seeing a leaf from outside glide across the floor and mistaking it for a centipede. Rona looked from the floor to the bed, and back to the floor again. All she saw was Margaret, and that was it. “Where’s the other one?” she gasped, the cups on the bedpans swiveling back and forth on top of her shaking hands.

But just then, Old Margaret, hunched over on the floor on all fours behind Rona, figured this would be the perfect time to do it, so she shouted “Now!” and, without even thinking, Margaret pushed Rona over Old Margaret’s bent body, the bed pan flying out of her hands, along with the apple juice, all over the floor when she hit the ground hard. There was yellow juice and blue pills all over the hospital grounds.

“Move, move, move!” Margaret shouted as two orderlies, big ones with bald heads, began running down the hallway to see why a young nurse just went flying backwards onto the hospital tiles. But as Margaret went into a full dash down the hallway, Old Margaret was having a hard time just trying to stand up (Rona’s fall had apparently made Old Margaret dislodge her hip somehow)

“Helllp, Margaret, I’m down!” Old Margaret screamed.

Margaret, already almost completely down the hall, did a complete 180 and went back for her, the orderlies already almost very close behind. While still on the ground, Old Margaret hoisted her hand up and Margaret lifted her up and put her on her back. But just then, as if nothing was wrong with her at all, Old Margaret gingerly wrapped her legs (both of them, even the broken one) around Margaret’s waist. That sly devil, she had been playing opossum the whole time!

“Shake it sister, we’re on the lamb together now,” and with that, Margaret began to hightail it out of there, the orderlies were right on her tail.

With a right turn, the halls were now claustrophobically slim, and as Margaret sprinted, Old Margaret much lighter than she looked, her bare ass showing, she had to make some quick feints while avoiding the oncoming traffic of doctors, nurses, and sickies. And while Margaret ran past one man, his mouth covered by an oxygen mask and unaware of the calamity above him, Old Margaret reached down, snatched the oxygen mask from his face, and took a quick whiff before she threw it to the ground. “Ah!” she exclaimed as if they just got the recharge she needed. The dying patient on the gurney waved at fist at their departing behinds.

“Take a left here, Margaret!” Old Margaret said, but with a hint of treachery in her voice that only Margaret heard.

But while she did indeed say left, the pinch she gave to the side of Margaret’s neck signaled otherwise. And at the end of the hallway, which was a fork in the road, Margaret began to take a left, but then took a sharp right, the two orderlies heading the wrong way entirely. Margaret was already in the elevator out of there. Once inside, Margaret and Old Margaret found two other people inside already. One was a woman who looked very much like Lucille Ball, what with the sunglasses, the poofed red hair, the bonnet, and the shoes. The other was a man with a dead hangdog expression on his face wearing pajamas. He was in a wheel chair. A strange pair indeed (both of them). A while Margaret stood there, still holding Old Margaret on her back, Lucille Ball looked at Old Margaret’s butt, it was all prickly and gross. The old fart didn’t look, though. He just stared straight ahead, his dark brown, cataract congested eyes incapable of looking anywhere else but forward.

Margaret, realizing that she had still been carrying about 90 lbs of dead weight on her back, finally asked, “Do you think you can WALK now, Margaret?” her voice out of breath and angry.

“I think I can make it.” Old Margaret said, kicking out her leg as if she was getting the kinks out.

“Oh, get down, you.” Margaret said, tired of the shtick already.

Old Margaret got down and stretched out her legs, she was flexible like a gymnast. Margaret let out a low snarl. She didn’t like to be deceived.

There were only two more floors to go until they reached the bottom floor, but just then, the reflective door opened on the third floor. Lucille Ball must be getting off here, her eyes were trying not to make eye contact as she began to wheel the old fart she had with her out the elevator. But before she could get out, just then, she felt a hard, sharp pain in her left shoulder. It was a human hand, definitely a human hand. But more precisely, it was Margaret’s human hand, and Margaret had a hold on her shoulder with those of malicious intentions. She dragged Lucille Ball back into the elevator, while Old Margaret pressed the button to close the door back up.

When the elevator had eventually gotten to the third floor, Lucille Ball and the old fart had changed clothes dramatically. Instead of Lucille Ball and Tuckered out Tommy, they were now two EX-Patients leaving St. Joseph’s Clinical Hospital. The orderlies eventually found them shivering, reaching for the strewn hospital gowns, alone and crying in the elevator, even the old fart. But what they didn’t find were the two Margaret’s. They were already long gone by now.

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