She’s already lost most of her hair, but refuses to wear one of those scarves, or a wig, or a hat to try to hide the fact. Her only jewelry is the small plastic catheter where a watch or a bracelet ought to be, unused now for months but still available as a concession to her doctors’ pleas.
She pushes the wheelchair’s controller forward like any gangster on the getaway might mash down the car’s accelerator. If the chair had a “Check Engine” light, it would have burned out ages ago, ignored.
The chair bee-lines across the almost empty atrium, forcing a few bipedal staffers and patients to alter their courses as she zeroes in on her intended destination: the upright piano occupying the small visitors’ seating area adjacent to Oncology, on the other side of the lobby.
Her arrival is simultaneous to that of the thin, elderly man the hospital has hired to come in three times per week to make the rounds from keyboard to keyboard, half an hour each, to make the waiting easier, to help the people forget or remember, whichever best suits their need.
He looks at her and almost smiles; knows exactly what he has to play.