The telle in the hospital waiting room is almost on silent. The weather man's voice is barely audible, through the sounds of the hospital around me and the giant group of MTG's family that is around. People I've never met are pacing back and forth. I'm sitting in the corner by the window, looking outside then to the telle then back outside again.
No MTG is not in the hospital, thank goodness. But her grandma is. We've been going pretty much every day that she's been in there. Her health failing and her situation critical. MTG is worried and emotional, the bags under her eyes tell the story of her staying up late with her grandma at the hospital, with the rest of her family. The hospital is in another city close to where I lived many years ago during the prime of my gypsy life. I never thought I'd have to come to this place again.
I really don't know any of these people asides from MTG's parents, and siblings. I sit in the corner and make myself invisible. Friends and family come and go. I'm sitting by myself most of the time, as MTG is in the room with her grandma. Her family is worried and concerned. It's only natural. I look out the window and see that the wind if finally picking up. It almost reached 90 degrees again today. Way too hot for this time of year. The wind starts blowing violently, the cold front expected finally arrived.
From time to time MTG comes into the waiting room. This is when she takes the time to introduce more family to me. I smile politely and give my condolences. Most of them forget that I'm there afterwards. Which is best. Her dad's too busy looking after his mum to be grilling me or giving me the evil eye. But it doesn't stop a few of her other family from doing so. Particularly other uncles who give me the kung-fu grip of death when I shake their hands, I reply with the same to earn some respect. Although mostly my cheeks are a bit red and sore from the amount of pinching her aunties have done. Apparently they think I'm cute.
The doctor comes in and tells them a few things. MTG grabs my hand and we walk towards the room. I really don't want to go in there. In my life I've seen deaths face far too many times. We go in and there are nurses working about. Her grandma hooked up to machines. But she's still plenty conscience. MTG introduces me to her and she pinches my cheek. She mumbles a few words and I smile politely back. I've never meet this woman, but here I am in her hospital room watching what could be her last breaths. More and more family come in and I try to stand in the corner out of the way. Most of them say nothing about me being there, but I get a few looks like "Who the hell are you?" After a few minutes of this I take my cue to leave.
MTG's grandma, doesn't have death's eyes yet. In fact if you ask me, I say that she's not going anywhere anytime soon. But the doctors say she's critical as do the machines. I give a look to MTG and tell her I'm going to go outside for some air. I hate being in hospitals. As I walk outside, the cold wind immediately slaps my face. It feels wonderful compared to the hot 100% humidity soaked air of the earlier part of the day.
I make my way to a small courtyard with benches, apparently this is the smoking area as not long after I sit, some employees show up for a cigarette break. As I sit there watching the leaves shuffle by I think, and take in the smell of the Marlboro's that the employees are smoking. All I can think of is why I'm there. Until today I've never meet this person or the rest of MTG's family and think that I'm just in the way than anything else. And for what ever reason I have the Primitive Radio God's "Standing Outside a Broken Phone-booth with Money In My Hand," on a continuous loop in my head. My dad calls at that moment and I tell him what's going on. He tells me that I'm there to support MTG above all else, and that even though I don't know anyone else or feel like I'm simply in the way, just being there is being there for her. This makes sense to me.
MTG comes and finds me a few minutes after that. She says that the doctor gave her nanna some stuff to relax her. And that she's sleeping. She holds my hand as we walk back to the room. When we get there her nanna opens her eyes at us and smiles. I still don't see anything telling me she's ready to pass yet. How do I know this? Ever since I was a kid I've just been able to tell when someone was going to pass. I dunno how, or why I just can. I never really told anyone this, but when it comes down to it, I'm 6 for 6 on telling this kind of thing. Though I didn't share with anyone. It actually freaks me out, I hate being able to tell this, its morbid, but fortunately I can only tell with extremely sick people. When my uncle passed away earlier this year I didn't tell my cousin or aunt that the day after I visited him for the last time (2 days before he died) that night I dreamed of the day and time he would pass and funeral home he would be at. As usual I was spot on with all accounts. Would it make a difference if I told them? My uncle was tripping on morphine and was basically a veg when he passed. Could they have prepared themselves? Ill never know as I never told them.
While staring at the floor I'm suddenly roused by the sound of MTG's stomach growling. "Have you eaten anything?," I ask. She doesn't respond, she's looking at her nanna. Her dad comes towards me and hands me a 20, and instructs me to take her to eat something. She doesn't want to go but after some nudging we leave. One of her sisters and a couple of cousins come with us. We go to a small restaurant and all get hamburgers. While we wait for our food, MTG gets extremely quiet. We all sit in silence for a moment listening to "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James & The Shondells being piped over the restaurants, P.A. system. It gets too quite so I just start saying a joke about a lady with a baby that looks like a monkey. I make MTG's sister and cousins laugh so hard that her sister spews Coke from her nose. Our tensions relax after that. While MTG's sister is cleaning the mess I made her make, she puts her head on my shoulder and whispers to me, "I don't want her to go." I think of the pain her nanna is in and know it would be for the better if she quickly passed from the cancer, instead of suffering. But I feel that will not be the case. All I can tell her is that she'll still be around for a while. I see a phone on the wall and the Primitive Radio God's starts playing in my head again.