October 11, 2003
Ketchikan Ferry

The deck was an impasto of white paint, streaked with rust stains, and he was nervous. It had been perhaps 15 years since, and this time he was alone. This metal deck he was looking at was liquid once, and now it was frozen, and slowly flaking underneath that paint. It growled beneath him as they reversed the engines and the landscape stopped moving.

He lifted his fiberglass shell to his shoulder. Clumsy on land, lithe in the water.

On the rocky shore he loaded it, balancing, and stuffing it from gunwhale to gunwhale. The water here was fishy and oil-streaked; he would leave that behind soon.

With a rasp, and a wobble, he was off and cutting into the opaque water. A light chop, the wind behind him. Rotating with each stroke he sought his rhythm--he would find it in a couple of days. Meanwhile the gravity was subsiding, it's pull first sliding away from his arms, his core, then his belly.

At the moment, he could feel everything: the breeze finding its way into his unzipped collar, rounding his shoulders, lifting the short hairs behind his neck; the brine dripping off the splash rings and pattering on his sprayskirt; the oscillations of his kayak into the chop; the slow wink of his marine radio.

Posted by erich at 05:15 PM
October 09, 2003

So I've had a couple of days off and have found an ability to envelope myself in sleep (and bedclothes) that I never knew existed. Save one thing...

My dreams are saturated with the white-tiled, fluorescently lit hallways of the hospital. I wake up agonizing about urine output or hypoxemia.

I'm generally able to impose a barrier between home and work, but these last couple weeks of nights have imprinted the hospital's patterns in my synapses.

Posted by erich at 08:06 PM

The leaves are darkening and edging into color. The sun's acquired that auburn cast, and there's a vein of briskness in the mornings and evenings where there once was a humid mist-cloak. And it's now our fourth rotation of the year. The rotation on the churning General Thoracic service is over and I've just finished yet another week as Night Float, this time on the "colored" Red/Gree/Purple and Pediatric services.

Luckily, no codes this time.

But now that I have a couple of days off, my clock is entirely discombobulated having spent two of the last three weeks on nights.

For the first time in a long while, I had the luxury of sitting down to read, and try to thoughtfully put together a writeup for the Society of University Surgeons.

Incidentally, Go Red Sox.

And, let's give Arnold a chance and see what he can do. There are many paths to political success, and I certainly don't think that planning to be President from kindegarten on is any more legitimate than being a surgeon or being an actor first.

Posted by erich at 03:19 AM