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Image description: Two heavy looking stands with cordon strung between them

I went down to the clinic to have my blood drawn as per a request from my doctor, routine stuff. I was tense all the way down because I knew that it would be a difficult process. I’m not, shall we say, a ‘single poke.’

The clinic is in an old building which has been made accessible as an afterthought. An afterthought that I’m grateful for, don’t get me wrong. The elevator door is just wide enough for me to back into, but it takes great concentration. So I arrived, tense from worry and a little tired from negotiating the pathway there. I turn into the clinic and for some reason they’ve set up this little barrier, you know those poles that have the extendable cordons, to separate one reception area from the other. It’s wierd because they are right beside each other an need no additional markings to be clear.

The barrier though makes it too narrow for me to make a clean turn into the clinic. I go in, as I always do, and am immediately stuck. I wasn’t expecting it. It had never been there before. But I was stuck. I reach forward to move one of the barriers and it’s really, really heavy and I can’t shift it. People help in the way they can, they watch. And tut. Joe is behind me and can’t get in. I’m now panicking. I need to shift the damn barrier or make it possible for Joe to get in. The barrier won’t move. People help in the way they can by, now, watching with keen interest.

I turn the chair and launch into the corner giving Joe just enough room to get in.

He too has trouble moving the barrier, they are really heavy. Now there is room but, shit, I’m in an awkward position and it’s going to take several moves to get into the reception area. The receptionists too, are helping by watching and motioning to each other what the problem is. There is a fellow waiting to come into the clinic as well. His patience, never fat, grows thin quickly. He huffs his exasperation at not getting in quickly.

He too has seen but he doesn’t see a person in an awkward situation created by a needless barrier, he sees an object causing him, in all his important self, to wait.

Finally, I’m in. Finally, I’m at the desk.

The clerk taking my paperwork, who had watched the whole debacle of my entrance said, “So how’s your day going?”

Really?

Freaking really?