“OMG, I’d rather be at school than at this boring hospital.”
Last week, my father had the extreme fortune of spending every waking hour bound to a cot, fortuitous because the alternative would have been death. Discovered unconscious on the side of the road, he was the rare survivor of a motorcycle joyride gone awry. I left to see him as soon as I heard the news. Everyone was there, everyone but his eighteen year old daughter. The above quote was her reaction when she finally showed.
Objectively speaking, this is a clear-cut example of youthful naiveté. But there is one aspect to it that I found incredibly fascinating. For someone else, the mundane experience was anything but.
“I [my Dad] couldn’t talk, or move. But when I opened my eyes I saw my family, my friends…it… it was amazing, surreal. Like God himself was showing me everyone I ever loved for the very last time…”
Could the quotes be any more different?
At the expense of profiting (creatively) from my father’s misfortune: who cares? What’s fascinating is what those differences tell us. Without a word of characterization, there is already so much that can be inferred about my Dad and kid sister. And that’s to say nothing of the power of perspective, where one’s obligatory hospital visit can be another’s own personal rapture.