I am sick and all I can think of is sickness.
When I was real little I got sick like I am now and then I got a whole lot sicker. I could not breath and I was hotter than Pamela Anderson's panty drawer. Mr. and Mrs. Beer had to take me to the cowboy hospital where I joined a pile of other sick little motherfuckers in a sick chidren ward. Every kid too sick to be cared for by their parents were wailing away in cribs. Waaaaaaaa!
I was already in kindergarten, a big boy, and I did not fit in my assigned crib even though it was the biggest crib available. I was like Todd Bertuzzi in a Smart Car. The nurses gave me warm grape juice which I vomited on to the floor like kindergarten finger painting.
The people in the hospital checked my temperature with a rectal thermometer. I was held down forcefully, my screams heard from one end of the hospital to the other.
The next night, after mom and dad had left with tears in their eyes, I lay there in the dark room, my head pressed against the crib's head board, my ass sore from the rectal thermometering, my toes squashed into the toe board and my knees pressed up against the cold Alberta night. My temperature was high, I was hallucinating and the hallucinations were not the comforting kind. I thought I was going to die, go to Heaven maybe and vomit warm grape juice on God's lap.
That night a new nurse, they were all women in those days, checked on me and the other kids. She said, "And what's your name son?"
I told her, "My name is Beer Hockey."
"You don't look too comfortable in there all squashed up like a bug on a windscreen." She patted my sweaty head. "I'm going to see if we can get you a bigger bed."
I was afraid to sleep all that night because I thought I may not wake up. On the ceiling, lit by night lights, visions swirled and exploded. Through the bars of my crib I sometimes saw a nurse walk by in the dim light of the hallway.
The next day I was transferred to the adult part of the hospital. I shared a room with a nice man who had just had an internal organ removed. The nice man and I talked and talked. I think that was the first time I conversed at length with an adult other than my mom and dad. I could tell the nice man was wishing I would shut the fuck up but I kept on at him with lots of questions about what the adult world was like. I wanted to get better and get big and be an adult and get drunk and swear at the tv screen when the Canadiens scored like my dad.
I was put into an oxygen tent where I remained for quite some time. I think the nurses pumped steam into the tent as well. The tent was my fort. Inside the fort I read comic books and made messes in colouring books. My bed was bigger than the bed I had at home. Mom and dad visited, the hallucinations became less vivid as my temperature dropped and my breathing slowly improved.
The nice man left the hospital and he was replaced by a boy my age who got his own oxygen tent too. I do not remember his name or what he looked like or anything but we soon turned our hospital room into a playroom causing the nurses to constantly warn us about the disruption we were causing even though we were both still very sick.
I was released from hospital just in time to get my chocolate from the Easter Bunny. It snowed that Easter. I did not like living in motherfucking Alberta. The province made me sick.