My friend Kristi and myself have been known to go out late at night. Being both night nurses, we do stuff so we can stay up late, usually on a night before we have to go in and work. This makes sleeping during the day more easier, and it is just something fun to do. Our usual activity is going to the Brass Rail to play pool. The Brass Rail is a nice place...only 75 cents a table, very clean, and the food is good. Kristi is rather good at playing pool. I suck something awful. Out of 10 shots, I might have one or two good ones, and I could never play on a regulation table because they are roughly the size of a football field...but this doesn't dissuade me from my dream of being a pool shark someday. Anyway, we go, have some nachos, some sodas (hers usually spiked with the Captain), she kicks my butt in pool, and we always attract the biggest dorks in the entire establishment. Last night being no exception.
So, our table is next to the jukebox...which happens to be playing every crappy country song on the planet. Our table also is next to one where two guys are playing, I am guessing to be in their late 40's, early 50's. One is short, flashy and loud, the other tall, quiet and wearing a pink shirt. Inevitibly, the flashy one meanders over and wants to play doubles. The pink-shirt guy and Kristi play as a team, and of course, I get the loud one. Pink-shirt guy is Mensa, a graduate of West Point, and most importantly...plays in a pool league. Loudy owns his own business and is more focused on bragging than he is playing. Predictably...we lost every game. You know the type...he measures his success in life by what he owns and who he knows. He spent a lot of time dropping names, apparently hoping to impress. Neither Kristi nor myself care. Pink shirt guy keeps quiet, maybe he is embarassed to be friends with such a weiner.
Inevitably, conversation turns to our profession...registered nurses with a level one trauma center. Loudy then expounds on why we shouldn't treat "them". Those inner city crack heads that shoot themselves...Loudy thinks we should just let them kill each other off, and he even suggested that we should help. This launched Kristi into a long tirade with the guy, who apparently saw things in terms of "us vs. them"...us being people who had money, and them being everyone else who didn't. Us also being everyone who was white, them being everyone else. I was waiting patiently for Kristi to haul off and bitch-slap him, I was actually hoping for it. Pink-shirt guy is just remaining quiet and playing pool. Eventually, it was just him and I playing because the other two were in heated discussion. Pink-shirt guy felt sorry I sucked to bad at pool, he eventually just started giving me tips. As for his opinion of the night's topic of discussion..."Garbage comes in all colors".
Apparently, it also comes with different sized bank accounts.
The garbage comment was kind of iroinic because it turns out pink-shirt guy owned a garbage hauling business in my old hometown. I guess you couldn't find a greater authority on trash. I almost asked him if Loudy was someone he found on a route...but I thought better of it.
Loudy said he would never come to our hospital beause of the patients we saw. Kristi and I decided that was probably a blessing in disguise because we wouldn't like to take care of someone like him. We would do it, though, if it came down to it because if it were my family member laying in that bed...I would want someone to take care of them, without giving thought to race, creed, socioeconomic status or otherwise. I may not like what my patient's do in their life...but at the end of the day, I don't have to answer for it. As long as I know I've done the best I can do, I can sleep at night...or during the day.