I had an appointment to the VA this morning for a fasting blood test, along with everybody else and his brother. Some brought along their wives. My appointment was at 9:30 AM and when I got there, they had yet not cranked into motion. The waiting room was stirring with men and urine cups, some were anxiously awaiting so they could be able to give a specimen. Some already had collected a specimen and not had been called for blood to be drawn. We were all waiting.
All us had one thing in common, we were veterans. All of the branches of the services; Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard show up there. Some are on crutches, some are in wheel chairs, some walk from their newer cars, some their older cars, some have taken buses like me, some whose wives had driven them, some have come from nursing homes, some off the streets.
We all have our stories and they are written on our faces, in our clothing, on memorabilia. There is one thing else we have in common: we all were taught to wait. I remember the expression, hurry up and wait. And wait this morning we did. Reading old news magazines, chatting with their wives, and trying to make a point that our appointment was at 9:30 AM and we were fasting to no avail because so was everybody else.
While I was sitting there, I mused over the young woman that stayed on the bus, as I got off at the airport. She had gotten on after I had and sat near me. She was a redhead. She had short hair and looked like it had been military cropped. I told her about my motto, “Red Heads Rule, Real Reads Reign.”
She told me how she used to have lovely red locks and that her roommates had cut them off. The noise of the bus prevented me from hearing some of the story as to the surroundings. I suspect she was either asleep, out cold from drinking or drugs.
We chatted about not needing a 4 year degree any more but a concentrated degree in anything. She seemed like an intelligent young lady and I wound up telling her that redheads look good whether their hair is short or long. About that time we arrived at the airport and I wished her well and left to change buses to go to the VA…
…About that time, the technician called my last name. I had to give him my full name and social security number. He gave me a specimen cup after he had drawn samples of blood and I drew samples of urine for them easily as I had been drinking lots of water.
I had brought my regular breakfast with me and I asked someone to heat it up and I ate it right in the lobby.
Yesterday, I had a friend offer to take me to the VA, but he needed to be at his sister’s by 12 noon. I already knew it was a 45 min ride back. Here is the text that I sent to him as I was waiting for the bus: “Now that I’ve given specimens, shopped at Walgreens, ate my breakfast, ate half a sandwich at Panera’s, I realize you could have driven me. I just would have given up shopping, lunch, and sweating in the noisy traffic waiting for a bus.”
I got home a little after 2 PM, unpacked, put my back bedroom AC on, took my shirt off, and lay down for a nap. The phone rang. It was my sponsor in AA. He is also a Veteran and knows the VA. I chatted briefly with him and went back to sleep…
My dinner tonight was half a Panera sandwich, a chocolate dessert…
You were waiting, “RED HEADS RULE.”