We all wear masks so only our eyes are visible. Each set representing their own darkness and light. Some are with their spouses, their parents, their support. Some are alone. Some are frail. Some wear oxygen. Some are wild-eyed and observant. Some are boisterous with laughter.
I want to question the intriguing, but I’m unsure if they share the same wonderment as I.
No one dare touches the magazines. We are all germophobes.
I hear deep, aggressive coughs. I hear the painful struggle to breathe. I hear the scratchy voices from life-long trachea abuse.
The mothers’ quietly comfort their children and the friends joke about anything to ease the thick, suffocating air.
We all carry sputum cups, each of us hiding them politely. We breathe into big machines that measure our lung function and then we either celebrate the outcome or sit solemnly with our negative results.
We reflect on our lives, the things we could’ve done differently, and wonder how much time we have.
When my name is called I get sad because for just a few moments I’ve felt at home with the only people who truly understand me and my body, yet we don’t even know each other's first names.