The ambulance attendant is a bit roly-poly, and he straps me to the stretcher. I dislike the constraints, but I am more afraid of what could happen later.

"I want to go home. I can't afford this. I don't have insurance," I told him. He said that everything will be worked out later, but I didn't believe anything he was saying. "This is kinda like that X-Files episode," I announce. "It was on the other night. There was this guy who ate people, something like that, and he was an ambulance worker. That's how he got his food; he needed cancer to survive for some reason, and Scully has cancer. And I can't remember what Mulder was doing, but he was good-looking as always. Did you see that episode? I hope you're not a monster, but I don't have cancer--to my knowledge, that is--so even if you are, you won't have any reason to eat me."

Later, people would tell me that I said very few of these things; according to them, I mumbled something about Mulder and Scully while the EMT tried to keep me talking.

I continue: "You're not going to give me a shot, are you? I hate shots. Last time someone gave me a shot, I said, 'You give me a shot, I'll faint. I mean it.' And you know, I did. It was when I was still in grade school. We said our Holy Mary before lunch, and then I folded to the floor. So you shouldn't give me a shot, especially in this van; it can't possibly be safe. Are they going to give me a shot? Promise that they won't give me a shot."

"I don't know what they'll do," he says.

"Promise me. I'll run away if they try to stick a needle in my arm."

"I promise," he lies.

not just pain relief
to the hospital
what people say