Sunday, July 11
Everything changes in this room today.
A man that immediately looks like the military is moved to bed no.161. A man identified as Torino’s cousin is moved to bed no.164. I now do not feel comfortable because I am the only woman in the room.
I notice on this second day that Torino is constantly on his phone. He appears to be having a conversation with someone. I hear him getting all sorts of information. He begins talking with the new guy – I will call – him the Argentinian because he said he was in the Argentine air force. Torino knows all about my house, my bank, my art, my education – everything. He appears to be a master at getting information about everyone because he even has information about the Argentinian. Apparently, the Argentinian was arrested for sexually molesting his 9-year-old stepdaughter. Torino’s cousin has nude pictures of underage boys on his phone, and Torino tells him that it is illegal and that he must delete them pronto.
As the day wore on, I heard the nurses and attendants talking in the hallway reception desk. They are discussing how Daniel is trying to call. They laugh at how they do not let the call come in. More ¨chatter¨ that I do not let bother me, but I am aware this is a repeat of what happened in Salon Tara!
All food and medicine schedules are the same here. I wonder about my medications. If I do not have COVID-19, why are my medications the same? I begin to worry about this new situation.
How do I explain what happens next?
COVID Alert Night
The day had begun calmly. I tried talking to the new patients. The Argentinian speaks perfect English but sometimes acts like he can’t. Torino pretends like he cannot understand or speak English; however, I hear him sometimes talk in English to the Argentinian and his cousin. He made it plain when I tried to speak that he does not want me to talk. I feel like I am outnumbered by these men and have been put in my place. Torino’s cousin cannot speak English. He likes to lay in bed talking on his phone all day. He acts like he is on an extended vacation.
8:00 pm: The nurses come in with our night medications as the evening wears on. The Argentinian has been playing a game app, and Torino is talking on his phone quietly. The cousin is playing a game on his phone.
The evening staff begins their shift. A nurse, a receptionist, a supervisor in an office, and four male attendants are now on duty. The nurse (I will call her J.) begins complaining about me. She talks to the other attendants about how she can fake that I attack her, and then she can sue me for the $240,000. I hear her knock a few things off a desk. Her talk becomes raving as she works herself into a frenzy. She begins knocking over furniture and throwing objects against walls. I hear her ask one of the attendants to hit her in the face. J. has to ask him twice because the first slap was not hard enough. The other nurses act alarmed because one says a magistrate is coming. I hear the magistrate tell J. to calm down and that he will cover for her this time, but she must not draw so much attention. J. tells him about the money they can get for the program if her brilliant plan succeeds.
The Argentinian decides he wants to take a shower around 9:30 pm. He goes inside the bathroom, and I hear him making a lot of noise showering. He dries off, then begins to come out but goes back inside and repeats everything. Torino says something to his cousin about checking the Argentinian. The Argentinian says he wants to shower; it feels good. He repeats it. An attendant notices the cousin up and asks what is going on. He goes into the bathroom and tries to tell the Argentinian to come out. I am awake and see all of this strange behavior.
Meanwhile, Torino continues to talk into his phone; it is like he is reporting what is happening, and J. is throwing around furniture in the reception area.
The magistrate leaves, and I hear the nurses in the office begin talking strangely as if they are all repeating themselves and in sync with one another. I cannot understand what they are saying, but they sound increasingly hysterical. Then, a loud alarm begins blaring, and the lighting switches to emergency lighting. A loud announcement ¨COVID ALERT¨ starts going off. Torino makes a sign to me to cover my head with my sheet. His cousin covers his head. Torino lays on his side and covers his head. The Argentinian is still in the shower taking a shower over and over again, with the attendant still trying to get him to stop.
I cower under my sheet. I hear the nurses and attendants begin banging and throwing objects around in the office. I listen to things being broken. I can see their shadows through the sheets. I hear some come into the room near my bed. But because the sheet covers me, it is like they cannot see me.
They sound like they are all going through a mental breakdown. The staff is panting, running in the hallway, howling, and laughing – then – they begin having sex in the hallway. I hear the clothes come off and the sounds of skin slapping skin. I listen to them grunting, panting, and laughing. Torino is still talking into his phone as the Argentinian finally emerges from the shower. He is panting and tells Torino he feels powerful. He actually roars and then begins to watch the nurses and attendants. Torino tells him that what is happening is all about the stress from COVID. First, the people get restless and angry, then they have sex, and it is good because it improves their oxygen levels, and they cannot get COVID. The Argentinian joins the orgy with J. and four other male attendants while Torino describes everything happening on his phone. The alarm is still blaring, and the dim red emergency lighting is on. I hear banging and shouting coming from below. I hear something crashing into a wall.
A group of female nurses enters the hallway, and they are oohing and awing over something in one of the nurse´s arms that is making little mechanical baby noises. They keep talking about its eye and how it needs good eyes. They then go into the staff office behind the reception area. I can peek out the side of my bed and see the hallway and the front of the room reflected in the windows on the opposite wall. In the reflection, I see a nurse enter and stand looking at the beds, including mine, then walk out. She appears exhausted.
Afterward, there is a celebration. The nurses talk in their now strange repeating sentences that they have taken over the building. They are successful at making a reproducing A.I. system. This celebration continues for the entire night, and I hear distant shouting, metal crashing, and glass breaking throughout the hospital.
I think I am going to die. I shake from fear; my entire body shakes as I grasp onto the sheet to stay over my head. I urinate in bed. My arms are numb from holding onto the sheet, and my legs are numb from lying in the same position.
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11/7/21, 2:55 PM – Maria: Hi Daniel, what do you know about your mom?
11/7/21, 3:00 PM – D: Hi Maria, HOW ARE YOU? Talk to the hospital attendant and they say that my mom is fine today.
11/7/21, 3:34 PM – D: Please let me know if this answered your question. I want to make sure the translation is okay. Thanks Maria.
11/7/21, 4:18 PM – Maria: Yes of course.
11/7/21, 4:20 PM – Maria: I hope they release her tomorrow. I have her documents, the green card and the insurance.
11/7/21, 4:23 PM – D: Yes, me too. I speak to the Doctor at 7:00 in the morning to receive news. Ok, this is great. I also have a copy of both .👍🏼