Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Waiting Room

There is a call light system at my work. Do you know what a call light system is?

It’s a panel with several buttons and little red lights with names stamped out on labeling tape next to each. For example, if you were a therapist named Loranne Ott, a patient would push the button next to your name to let you know she’s in the waiting room. Then, when you escort her into your office, you probably have a switch or something to illuminate your red light and signal that you're currently with a patient. I don’t know— I’m not a therapist, although I’ve enjoyed going to therapy during those times when I could afford it.

I work for a magazine, our office only slightly larger than the therapists’, and dingy enough for us to discourage anyone from visiting. When I get there in the morning, there’s jasmine growing in the courtyard and strange chunks of concrete which I believe are sculptures (this is in Berkeley). I deactivate the alarm and proceed to the waiting room, where I turn on the long warm hush of the sound machine.

Do you know what a sound machine is? 

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