Waiting rooms, they are all imbued with the same sense of desperation and boredom. Going into a waiting room in perfect health is a sure-fire way to make yourself ill. I sat down on my plastic seat, the type fitted with fake plastic cushions, designed to sit in exactly the right places to cause maximum discomfort. The pale flickering of the strip lights would give me a sore head, I was sure of it and could feel the early tinges of a migraine coming on.
I look at my phone, as is typical in the waiting room I have no signal. I place my phone back in my pocket, I can feel my center of gravity slowly being sucked sown towards it. The heaviness of my pocket weighing on my mind. I look around, I meet someone’s eye, mine dart away. Do they think I was staring at them? Are they wondering what I was looking at? I decide to look at the posters on the wall, somehow these posters make me feel self-conscious, are they judging me? Should I really be reading a poster about breastfeeding? I can feel my phone; did it just vibrate?
I pull it out. Looking at with expectant glee, nothing, no signal, feeling inadequate and confused I slide it back in my pocket and then almost instantly take it back out and repeat the same look. This time though I swipe my finger across, not in any attempt to make anything work or to find anything but to hide my disappointment and perhaps to even make it look like someone might care enough to talk to me.
Whilst staring at the phone, I wonder have I been called? Did I miss my call whilst being engaged in this phone charade? I look around the room, still, the same people and again I lock eyes with the same person. I can feel my cheeks redden, I look at my phone. Please, please have something to distract me, anything I will even read an MSN news story, please have something, nothing. What will I do? What should I do? I am called. I look solemnly at the floor as I trudge to the next room.
This room is green, a sickly light green, it appears chosen to specifically make you want to flee the room as soon as you enter. This probably cuts down the time doctors have to see a patient, a particularly effective strategy I feel. I look at the seats, this time we have the metal-framed version with two plastic cushions, you can probably stay comfortable on it for a maximum of five minutes, if you are in perfect health.
I take my seat and take up an unhealthy obsession with my shoes, the grey mottled carpet is next. What is that stain? Is it a stain? No, it is just a bit blacker than that bit. Are you sure it is not blood? Does blood go black? Yes, when it congeals or is in a pudding, hence the name. I feel slightly upbeat about having outwitted myself.
I am given the same pamphlets again. Another talk about mindfulness. I want to scream, “If it fucking worked we would all be happy”. I look at my shoes instead, they are starting to fade. I wonder if I should buy a new pair? Thank you for the prescription, yes, I will check those videos on Youtube (right after they have deleted every other video that might be even slightly entertaining off the site). Why mindfulness? Even the name makes me feel nauseous about the idea. I think my back is cramping.
Seemingly there is some mindfulness tour coming past, every ticket probably comes with an MP3 download of whale songs. Why are whales happy? Do we just find the songs happy? How can they be happy? Their bellies are full of plastic and we spend ages shooting them with harpoons and hacking the shit out of them? Maybe whale song is actually fucking depressing, what if they are singing about wiping humanity out and we are sitting there in tie-dye, smoking weed, and crying along to the idea of us all being exterminated?
I’d also rather go and see David Icke if I had to go and see some charlatan. He probably has better hair than the mindfulness expert. How do you become a mindfulness expert? Are you extremely happy, if so how can you understand people who are depressed without being a condescending arsehole? Or were they once depressed and became undepressed? Because that also sounds like a whole pile of hell I don’t want to go to. Then yeah, I used to be sad and then one day a puppy looked at me and I felt the inner strength to change, well fuck you I hate you and to be honest so does the rest of humanity.
Mindfulness experts are people I put up there with relationship experts (1 relationship does not make you an expert, loads of relationships means you failed at relationships. I will carry on taking advice from David Icke, thank you) and life coaches (how many lives worth of experience have you had and if it is multiple can I join your reincarnation cult? I have also never met a life coach who didn’t make I want to end mine or theirs). If I was an internet meme I would call these jobs peak capitalism. “Yeah, I went to the careers advisor and they recommended that I try and become a life coach.” Did anyone ever become the person that a careers advisor told them they would be? Should I add them to my charlatans’ list?