The waiting room doors

Four walls of concrete with four doors and a window. That is the waiting room.

The entry doors remind me of hospital or prison doors. Steel-based with a small rectangular window with mesh wire. The window setting is sturdy and bolted in the door. The window frame is steel-panneling.

Someone tried to make this look more smooth and added layer after layer of paint to the frame and over the bolts. But the paint does not hold up well enough and has started to peel.

Every time these doors open and slam shut you see the little window pane vibrate with the impact.

Every time these doors open and close you feel a breeze. And, you can smell the steel doors. A deeply penetrating cold smell that your tongue reacts to by turning dry. You smell the inferior quality of the paint. It makes your nose hairs itch but not enough to sneeze. However, it is enough to make your hand reach for your nose, just in case. And then you smell it again only so much stronger as it comes from up close.

Your hand touched the doorknob and that knob too is from steel. It has that same cold smell but this time it is overpowered by another fragrance. A combination of sweaty hands that have not been washed recently. They smell like an old unventilated locker room. There is a hint of hand sanitizer with a touch of Asper Creme and Vicks Vaporub.

Instinctively, you smell your hand and your nose travels down your fingers to the spots between where they are attached to your hand. It is a little more sticky in there. Any smells the hand encounters linger there.

If you are a child you probably would smell your hand again and maybe even stick the tip of your tongue out. But only hesitatingly because you know momma told you not to lick anything!

You quickly put your hand down realizing you are not smelling your hand while sitting on the swing set on the playground. You are in the waiting room area. You are waiting for your turn.

“Take out for Jones is ready. Jones?”

6 thoughts on “The waiting room doors

  1. I’m digging the twist on this at the end. That’s a nice touch. I would have thought that the speaker is in a hospital.

    The description of the kid smelling his/her hand is a nice touch, as well. I can see that entire process in action quite clearly, right down to the admonishment of “don’t put your fingers in your mouth!”

    My brain is fried; be that as it may, keep that in mind when I say that I don’t really notice any adverbs here (Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your adverbs here!!).

    I’m gonna keep it brief. I like the job you’ve done with this one!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Having grown up on the Chicago’s South Side, I’ve seen MORE than my share of rusty chains on swings. Not only that, but you’ve invoked the smell of rusty chains, which is NOTHING nice.


        Liked by 1 person

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