It’s been a while since I’ve heard my name screamed. Years, really, and it wouldn’t have been so memorable, I think, had those two piercing syllables not been hitchhiking on the back of a half empty vodka bottle, and aimed about an inch or two below my graying widow’s peak.
Tonight I heard my name screamed. Squeaked would probably be a better adjective had it lacked a bit of volume. I wasn’t even first choice, which, given the situation, wouldn’t have been a bad thing.
We had a Rottweiler loose in the hospital.
I heard a voice call “Linda!” loudly. I was daydreaming and didn’t answer. That’s acceptable, though, since it’s not my name. I didn’t bother to look up. I heard mine hollered a couple of times in quick succession, so I figured I should probably figure out what was going on.
I saw a tech flying through pushing her portable xray machine, and a big black blur behind her. There’s a man walking down the hall with an extremely exuberant (and large, I might add) Rottweiler in tow. The tech is squealing now “Call security!” She’s making phone calls to tell the other techs to stay out of the radiology area; the one we couldn’t find was back in the crisis area, half-wrangling with the nurse and half-wrangling with an overdosed, agitated, restrained patient.
Things settled down after a little bit, and we found out that the man is autistic, and apparently comes to the hospital for some kind of treatment pretty often. I guess at 4:00 in the morning, sometimes it’s more comforting to be in a familiar place with a familiar friend than it is being safely tucked away in your bed.
She was a cute dog, though, when her teeth weren’t remotely in my direction. A bitch, and I’m guessing somewhere between true puppy-hood and true adulthood, judging by the size of her head.
I’m reading The Dodecahedron by Paul Glennon for Contemporary Lit. Canadian guy, although I won’t hold that against him. Interesting stuff, this book is. It’s different from anything I’ve ever read before. The closest I’ve come so far is The Dewbreaker by Edwidge Danticat, another great book. It’s a set of short stories that function other than as short stories — they’re all giving a perspective of the main character, and by those short stories told by different narrators, the Dewbreaker’s story is told.
Yeah. This isn’t like that. The only thing they share between them is skillful writing and the fact that each “story” could be read alone.
Glennon’s topic is mostly story telling so far (I’m only about half way through), and language. But he does it through characters so it is never, ever like reading a text book.
In the story, a tribe of natives have a word for ocean that also means “impassable.” Because the natives do not have boats, the ocean *is* impassable. But because it’s labeled as impassable, it never becomes passable.
At least by anything less than a story-telling, quill-less, porcupined demon. But I digress.
The point is that language both reflects and forms culture and beliefs. It’s almost its own vaccuum that way, I think.
“Bitch” is going to be a problem for me, I think. It’s a fun word; it really is. It’s a lot more socially acceptable than “Oh, you silly cunt!” but in the end, it’s taking the name of an animal who has actually birthed offspring and turning it into an insult. I think I have a problem with that. Not the animal part; hell I’ve been called jackass enough that I’ve sometimes wondered if it’s my middle name.
I think I’m going to think about this more. I’m at 21 hours awake, and I think it’s time for bed.
I do, however, have a bitch to sleep with.