The other day I went to visit a loved one in hospital. The first thing I noticed when I entered the patient room was an art-deco style wall hanging of Jesus on a crucifix. It’s strange to think that no matter how good a Jew you may try to be, your end of days will still be greeted by a hanging picture of Jesus (just in case you decide to change teams). I guess while stereotypically us Jews are told we control the world, we haven’t managed to infiltrate the public health system just yet.
Hospitals are not very fun. Unlike an episode of ‘Scrubs’ hospitals don’t feautre Zach Braff’s comedic musings followed by a touching montage accompanied by the latest indie music. Rather, hospitals are just big, white, disinfectant-smelling institutions where we are reminded of our mortality.
According to Regina Spector, ‘nobody laughs at god in a hospital.’ Is that because supposedly a higher power is the only entity able to end our time with the flick of finger? By that logic then nobody should laugh at a doctor or a nurse or a wronged ex-wife in a hospital. I think in a place like a hospital all you can do is laugh. Laugh at the fact that hospitals continue to supply chocolate croissants to patients with diabetes or obesity, laugh at the fact that all high earning professionals inside the hospital wear practical, albeit hideous, orthopaedic shoes or laugh at the fact that whimsical quotes from the old testament are painted on the walls of the very same place where meth addicts probably scream the loudest and most blasphemous of profanities.
Whether joy, or sadness, any visit to the hospital is heavy and manages to either tug at your heart or remind you that your heart isn’t invincible, particularly after last weekend. No wonder Zach Braff ends each ‘Scrubs’ episode with an indie-music montage, because without a ‘Death Cab for Cutie’ number and a beautiful cast of actors, no one would be watching anymore.