GERBERT!! Cliche-bashing, Ferard-smashing goodness abound.
Enjoy the insanity.
The only downside of being the only male nurse in a rape clinic, is well, just that. All the other nurses give you dirty looks, the patients won't even come near you, and quite frankly, everyone is looking for another excuse to somehow get you fired. Fun times, seriously.
So of course, I'm scrubbing the showers for the 4th time this week, because I'm "young and inexperienced" and need some time with Mr. Clean in order to whip me into shape. It's all a load of bullshit, but I can't really say anything or I'll be out of a job faster than I can fill out the complaint form.
Whatever, some of the women here are fairly nice to me. It's not my fault God decided to give me a penis. I guess it's really not their fault they were raped, either. No one here is guilty of anything, except maybe the fat cafeteria nurse. She has more tattoos than me, and more hair in some places, I think. She doesn't look anyone in the eye either, she stares at their lips. Which freaks me out, and I try to eat from home as often as possible.
There's a quiet clink in the corner, and I watch in disgust as one of the hot water knobs pops off and rolls to a stop before me, it's grimy exterior almost mocking my pain. I pick it up, looking at the rust caked onto the screws that were supposed to keep it in place. "Fuck..." I grunt to myself, lobbing the moldy fixture at the nearest wall, watching it bounce off the cracked tiles and to the dirty floor.
If there was a God, and if he truly loves me, he would cause the ceiling to collapse in on me right now. I back up against the wall, tossing my sponge into the blotchy pink bucket beside me. I fish into my pockets, pulling out handfuls of change I had been planning to give toss into the fountain out front in the hopes of getting a better job at a place that's not filled with emotionally fragile women who hate every single living creature with male anatomy. I start sending pennies flying into the wall opposite me, watching the little brown lights that reflect off them scatter into the air, like some kind of drugged up fireworks show.
My pager vibrates, probably the head nurse yelling at me to clean up some puke in the cafeteria, but right now I'm far too busy contemplating suicide to do much of anything for her. I toss a few more coins at the shower heads, before standing up and grabbing my mop from the corner, and tromping out into the middle of the bathroom. I fixate on a row of small green lockers, and lift my hand towards it, as if it's a crowd of wild, adoring fans, the better part of them half-naked well-endowed women crying my name in desperate Ecstasy. I clutch the mop handle loosely in my left hand, wailing out this half-assed tune about how I secretly hate my job and put bleach in all the water pipes, when I suddenly hear a laugh and a set of hands clapping.
"You should consider being a rock star... or maybe a dial tone..."
I look up at see a somewhat disheveled looking man dressing in only a purple towel and a pair of lime green flip-flops. I blink, why is there another guy here? I'm supposed to be the only Y-Chromosome in this hell-hole. I give him another confused look.
"Why are you here?" i splutter out, my frow burrowing slightly.
He goes pale for a second, but then laughs at me, "Are you dense?"
I rub my chin, now utterly lost. I thought this was a women's-only kinda thing. And I know for a fact he isn't a worker, staff showers are on another floor. "Do you... go here?" I ask, not really sure how word a question like: 'oh my god, were you raped?!'.
He just keeps staring at me like I'm stupid or something, sitting down on one of the dilapidated benches set up outside the showers. "What's that supposed to mean? You think guys can't have the pleasure of being here as well?"
He's a smart ass. And obviously bitter about the whole being-a-guy-in-a-rape-clinic thing. I set my mop down, and go over to him, pulling the hair away from my face. He looks down, his feet tucking together, "Can you leave... I'm trying to take a shower here..." he mumbles, his features scrunching into a frown.
I sigh, "Dude, I'm sorry I didn't kno-..."
He looks up, glaring viciously, "I don't need you're fucking pity. And I'm not you're [i]dude[/i]." he spits, holding a fist up to my face.
I hold my own out in defense, "Okay... okay, I'm leaving..." I reply, the bite to my voice running away with it's tail between it's legs.
I grab my supplies, and leave the bathroom without another sound coming from either of us. I storm up the stairs, my bucket clanging loudly against the steps, dirty soapy water sloshing out and soaking everything in it's path. A few of the nurses and patients give me strange looks as I throw open the utility closet and shove everything inside, grumbling to myself.
Tiffany, one of 3 people I can actually tolerate in this place, comes up to me, laying her small hand on my shoulder. She's a pretty nice lady, and doesn't treat me like dog shit. She's in her late-40's, and has been in the clinic for months now. I'm not really sure what's keeping her from going back and facing the real world, but I'm thinking it has to do with her husband kicking her out for 'cheating on him'. The whole situation is pretty shady to me, and part of me feels the husband had something to do her being raped in the first place. I saw him a few day ago at the mall with some young brunette. I stole their shopping bags when they weren't looking and gave the perfume to Tiffany. She wears it everyday now.
"Robert... dear..." she whispers softly, her soprano voice barely floating above the hum of the lights overhead.
I take in a deep breath, turning towards her, "I'm sorry, Tiff... just, ugh, I hate it here..." I huff, panting wildly through my nose.
She smiles, her small lips curling and wrinkling her cheeks, "I think we all do, dear."
I run a hand through my hair, then down my face, wincing as I feel the beginning of 5 'o' clock shadow... at 9 am. My eyes scanned the other people the in hallway, all giving me wary looks and scuffling past, as if I'm going to jump out and eat them. The boy from the bathroom is shuffling towards us, his stringy hair now looking more like a drowned, black Pomeranian had decided to live on the top of his head. He's wearing the drab, white clothes they give the patients here; his dark eyes glued to me as he inches closer. I smile politely, raising my hand to wave at him.
"Hey... I'm so sorry about earlier... my name is Bert, I work here on..."
But he just walks by me, shooting me a dark look before turning the corner to the stairwell. I glare at the wall, as if he was still standing there, and kick at it. Tiffany gives me a confused whimper, backing away from me a bit. I pull at the skin on my face, biting my cheek to keep from saying something awful in front of her. She takes another step back, and I lift my head, smiling, "Sorry... I just remembered I forgot to do my laundry, and I won't have any clean clothes for tomorrow." I lie, rubbing my sweaty hands on my thighs.
She nods, coming back towards me. I look up at the clocks that lined the hallways, telling us just how slow and predictable our lives are, "It's almost breakfast time... lemme walk with you to the Cafeteria."
She holds out her hand, her face practically glowing in excitement. I wasn't going to eat with her. I had reservations for one, and preferred eating away from everyone else. There was too much drama when they all ate. Constantly crying about the little things, and obsessing with calories and carbs and protein and everything else on God's green earth. Women are so frantic about everything. I mean, I'm a tad OCD, but Jesus Christ it's like a constant soap opera for these people.
I lead Tiffany to the doors, smiling and waving as she walks inside, trying to avoid looking at Beatrice, the hairy and possibly ex-tranny cook. I turn quickly on my heels and go to the staff locker room, playing with the loose change in my pocket along the way. Most everyone rushes by me, or moves out of my way as I come closer, which hurts me, I guess. I want them to trust me. I pretended to be gay for an entire month until one of the other nurses caught me talking on the phone with my then-girlfriend during my shift. After that they just treated me worse and I stopped trying to get them to like me.
My watch beeps softly, and I look down, it was 10. Which my shift for the day was over and I could go back to my duplex and watching shitty daytime TV with my flatmate. I wander into the locker room, grabbing my jacket and pulling off my nametag. I wasn't too excited about going home. Geoff was more than likely there, and was more than likely having sex with his girlfriend in his room.
I sigh, pulling on my jacket and lighting up a cigarette, staring up at the grey clouds and muffled sunlight. I saunter over to my car, singing softly to myself as I open the door and slid into the cramped, dirty car. I drive rather wildly from the parking lot, making my way home. But the entire time the image of the guy from the shower keeps playing in my head, and the sounds of his lime green flip-flops slapping against the wet tiles as I clanged up the stairs in a stubborn rage.
Somehow I get the feeling he's only going to make my job harder than it really needs to be.