A CAVA’d Bwogger guides you down the deep, dark path into the epicenter of Columbia’s hottest spot, St. Luke’s, over the course of *very* roughly 12 hours. Read on if you dare.
Nearing the end of the fall semester, I found myself in Riverside Park late at night. I was lost. The forest was dark, scary, and anxiety producing and even harder to navigate in my current drunken state. The bark of three dogs out for a late dog sent me down. Rising up from the dirt, I tried to remember how I had got there. My phone was dead. My wallet gone. I stumbled towards Riverside Drive clutching my stomach but despite all my efforts, the vomit flowed out of my mouth like Vesuvius, soiling my topsiders and khakis. And then blackness, I had fainted.
1:30 AM: As I regained consciousness, I was being lifted into the back of an ambulance on what appeared to be some type of throne. Feeling like a Pharaoh or some Emperor of old, I felt a burst of excitement. The ride was bumpy but I had a gaggle of bookish young men and women making sure I was cozy. When we reached the hospital, the ambulance pulled into a loading dock where I was pushed off like spoiled cargo. Already, I was not liking the change in treatment. I dozed off, dreaming of somewhere better.
2:30 AM: The hospital was anti-septic. The hospital had fluorescent lighting. The hospital was very much a Hospital. A hospital band was tied around my wrist and a gown thrown over my now cold, partially naked body. A moaning man was wheeled beside who smelled of a mix between sulfur and scorched engine oil. Soon, I began to toss and turn trying to get a nurse’s attention but to my surprise there was none in sight. I looked through the window and the hospital looked dead. I pinched myself. I slapped my cheek. I checked to see if Rod Sterling was there. Nothing. Feeling as though at any moment I may die, I hit against the rail. Desperation kicked in as I started to feel lightheaded and my stomach churned. Black out!
3:30 AM: Two nurses walked in, rousing me from my painful slumber. They were shouting at each other. “Some doctor?,” one said. “Girl, you don’t have to tell me twice,” the other replied. “You know what he asked me do the other day?”. “No,” the other replied. This went on for some time before they noticed me. One of them turned around to check my pulse despite the fact I was propped up with eyes wide open. The other one moved to the other side of my gurney and they carried on their vent session over my now pale body. “You know how much they pay him to sit there for a couple hours”, the first woman said. There conversation grew passionate and at one point, one of the nurses slammed down on my mattress for emphasis. Overwhelmed, I took my hands to my ears. Their voices wound down as I drifted off once more.
4:30 AM: The doctor arrived just as I was waking up. Checking my pulse, again, and asking me a question or two was all the visit entailed. Before I knew it, I had drifted off once more.
5:30-7:30 AM: Asleep but tossing and turning, I was awoken to the sound of the occasional human being in the hospital grounds.
8:30 AM: Now awake but still sick, one nurse assisted me off the gurney and onto my feet. I walked over to the waiting room, feeling sick to my stomach. I went to the adjacent bathroom to change into whatever clothing was salvageable. Wearing pajama shorts, a baggy XL T-Shirt and slippers, I was not prepared for what it awaited.
9:30 AM: Finally I was called to the check out section. Two nurses were watching what appeared to be a crime report on a D-list actress that stabbed her boyfriend with scissors. They were caught up in the action, doting on every gory, nauseating detail. Fighting to keep whatever remained of my food down, I held fast to the chair. Finally, the nurse turned around and began to grill me about my insurance. Unable to process my Columbia mail code because it was apparently too confusing, she copied down the address off my state ID.
10:30 AM: Still filling out paperwork in between the two nurses hypothesizing on the condition of the stabbed boyfriend, I was thoroughly pissed. I truly hoped I would vomit all over their cluttered desks but ironically I started feeling better. After being processed and officially checked out, I got up. Then the intense nausea, dizziness, and dryness resumed. I stumbled out of the office and back into the waiting room. Exhausted, I stayed put.
11:30 AM: Unable to move in fear of throwing up and suddenly realizing the sheer coldness of outside, I attempted to brainstorm a sensible course of action. I decided to postdate Juice Press to the waiting room. I was excited and felt life come back to my cheeks.
12:30 PM: With the Juice Press within my grasp, I excitedly reached for the Spicy Citrus. Breaking off the seal and tossing the top to the ground, I took my first, refreshing, and zesty sip. The cayenne pepper did little to calm my churning stomach and within seconds I had painted the once white and green anti-septic tiled floor of the waiting room, an iridescent orange. Ashamed, I gathered my things and walked out the front door.
1:30 PM: Having run from St. Luke’s to my dorm on 113th, I was frozen when I reached McBain lounge. Cold, weak, overwhelmed, tired, and a little traumatized, I let out a hard laugh when the first text I got upon plugging in my phone was a St. Luke’s survey.
Photo courtesy of Bwog’s evil twin