I look at the LED number board. It reads "4."
I try to find a place to sit next to someone who is not coughing. I pull out my now-wrinkled "Cook's Illustrated" magazine from my canvas bag.
The numbers go faster than I expect. Pretty soon they're up to number 63. I'm optimistic. I read the article on how to butterfly shrimp for the second time.
Time seems to stand still, but actually, the numbers are passing. It's 84. Now it's 89. Now it's 93. Now it's 95. I fold my Cook's magazine in half and put it back in the bag.
Someone sits down next to me as soon as I pick up my bag from the chair next to me. She starts coughing.
At last, I hear the muted tone of the number-counter. It reads "98." It is my turn.
I walk over to the counter and put down my scrap of paper. The receptionist looks up briefly and says "Have a seat sir, it won't be a minute."
I look down at my ticket. It says "99." An elderly man comes up next to me and puts down his ticket. It says "98." The receptionist says to him, "Down the hall, room 8."
I go back to where I was sitting, but someone is sitting there now.
The ticker chimes and the number "99" appears. I look down at my ticket and it says "100."
I open the Cook's and begin rereading how to butterfly shrimp. Someone leaves a seat next to the coughing woman. I sit down. The ticker chimes. I look down at my ticket. It says "101."
I take the opportunity to learn how to butterfly shrimp.
|I'm 14 down, aisle on the left (the guy with the hair)|