I just want to go,” the man said.
To the left of him were two medics. One of them had driven the ambulance to the emergency room. The other medic had sat in the back with the man. The medics looked at each other and smirked.
The man got up and started to walk towards the exit. The handful of patients in the waiting area watched him. The tattered hems of his oversized jeans stuck to the heels of his shoes. Stains of different colors and sizes were splattered over the front of his sweater. His shoulders were hunched forward and his dragging pants added scraping sounds to his shuffling steps. He hadn’t washed his hands in days; he looked like he was wearing dark gloves.
The security guard quickly walked in front of him and blocked his path.
“Hey. You can’t go. Just wait for the doctors to see you, okay?”
“I just want to go. I don’t want to be here,” the man said. He looked blankly at the security guard and took a few steps back.
Nurses walked by, scribbling notes onto sheets of paper. A patient was reclining in a stretcher, holding his leg tightly. When he gingerly let go, the pads of gauze in his hands were soaked with blood. He grimaced.
“There’s a gun shot wound coming in,” the medic commented to his partner. The other medic nodded. The man started walking towards the exit again.
“Okay, Gandhi. Just wait, Gandhi,” the security guard barked. The man stopped and his shoulders rolled forward.
“Oh, are you Gandhi today?” one of the passing nurses said. “I thought your name was Moses.”
“It’s Gandhi today,” snorted one of the medics. The nurse chuckled. The man looked down.
“Oh, you’ve been Moses, too?” the security guard laughed.
Still gripping his leg, the man on the stretcher craned his neck to see who they were talking about.
“We see you all the time, Moses. Why are you Gandhi today?” the nurse asked.
“I don’t know, I don’t care,” the man said to the floor. “I just want to go.”
“Hang on, Moses. We know you’ve parted the Red Sea in the past, but you can’t lead an exodus today, okay?” the nurse said, pointing to the row of chairs in the waiting room.
“Come on, Gandhi,” the security guard said.
The medics, nurses, clerks, and security guards snickered at him. The handful of patients in the waiting area watched him return to his seat.
“The gun shot wound will be here in two minutes,” another nurse called out.