In her right hand was a white plastic bag marked with a smiling yellow face. “Have a nice day” and “Thank you!” were printed on the front.
She had tied the handles of the bag into a square knot. The resulting loops dangled from her hooked fingers. The bag swung with each step she took while walking north on Park Avenue.
Her destination was an apartment between 73rd and 74th Streets. As taxis, cars, and delivery trucks raced past, she caught glimpses of the short grass, leafless trees, and stunted bushes that grew in the median of the avenue.
The plastic bag bumped against her leg and she reflexively extended her arm. Though she knew that the contents inside would not break or spill, she did not want to jostle the bag.
The doorman looked up when she walked into the building. Pewter stripes adorned the lapels and sleeves of his navy blue suit. The knot of his black necktie was crooked. He smiled at her in recognition.
“How you doin’ today, miss?” he asked, wrinkles appearing at the corners of his eyes as he smiled.
“Fine,” she said. “I’m here for apartment 13X. He’s expecting me.”
“Go on up,” the doorman said. Glancing at her plastic bag, he asked, “You got any lunch for me?”
“Not today,” she said, smiling.
“Next time, all right?” He winked at her.
She walked across the black and white checkered floor, underneath the chandelier that resembled a glass jellyfish, past the single pink orchid in the white ceramic vase, and stepped into the elevator. She felt the bag tap her leg again.
That was the portable flip-top sharps container that nudged her thigh. The brown paper sack inside the plastic bag also held a 3cc syringe with a 21-gauge by 1.5-inch needle, a pair of bright blue nitrile gloves, several small squares of gauze, one band-aid, three alcohol pads, and one container of hand sanitizer. The vial of antipsychotic medication waited inside its small box.
After exiting the elevator, she turned left, walked across the wooden floor of the hallway, and stopped in front of apartment 13X. She rapped on the black door three times.
“Who is it?” a muffled voice immediately responded.
“It’s Dr. Doe,” she said.
“Dr. Doe! Are you here to give me my injection?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said.
The locks on the door began to unlatch.