Triage (a play in one act)

Emergency room doctor: So what brings you here?
Man: This, uh, mosquito bite.
Doctor: …
Man: It was really super weirdly swollen yesterday. And red… and as I’ve had Lyme disease in the past, it seemed prudent to get it checked.
Doctor: (peers over glasses) Lyme disease you have to wait 2-3 weeks before symptoms appear. Also Lyme disease is still only transmitted by ticks. It wasn’t a tick was it?
Man: Actually it was my wife. I mean it was a mosquito, but my wife urged me to come in.
Man: See, my regular doctors are all on vacation.
Doctor: Did you put anything on it?
Man: Ice. That’s why it’s not swollen, maybe.
Doctor: (glances at watch)
Man: And I feel a little sick. And I have a scratchy throat. (coughs) And that cough just started.
Man: And my daughter, see. She’s sick and so I thought might be good to get that checked too.
Doctor: (to nurse) Any fever?
Nurse: Nope.
Doctor: BP?
Nurse: Normal.
Nurse: (to man) Any allergies?
Man: Not yet.
Nurse: (laughs)
Man: I mean, hay fever, but not currently suffering symptoms.
Nurse: (takes blood)
Doctor: Wait outside until we get the lab results back.
Man: Okay.
Man: (waits)
Man: (Reads sign: “Patients will be called in the order of seriousness of their condition and not the order in which they arrive”)
Man: Great.
Man: (observes battery bar of phone getting shorter and redder)
Man: (Finds electrical outlet next to gas masks)
Man: (Texts, “This is like a combination of Kafka and…” but then deletes it, types, “The waiting room looks like an explosion in Frankenstein’s laboratory” then deletes that. Texts something to his family, makes a typo that looks like Italian, starts riffing more Italian until his family are all replying with question marks, then stops.)
Man: (Looks at gas masks, thinks, “if these were defibillators I could recharge my phone in one second”)
Man: (Types, “everyone is here: the person who didn’t watch where they were going, the person who cut corners, the person who pet the strange dog, the person who ran with scissors…” deletes it)
Man: (Likes everything on Instagram. Posts a sunset picture.)
Man: (Wonders, did I remember to tell them I was feeling a little shakey too?)
Man: (Wonders: if he has to wait for someone to arrive with a condition less serious than a mosquito bite before his turn will come)
Man: (Watches battery icon turn green) Yes!
Man: (Watches four men on crutches race into examination room after being called out simultaneously)
Man: (Scrolls past a picture of a cat lying on a sidewalk without ‘liking’ it)
Man: (Wonders if they called out his name and he didn’t hear it because he was spaced out, or because they mispronounced it egregiously. Wonders if he should go, remembers hardware they put in his arm. Checks Twitter.)
Man: (Tries to remember title of novel he had an idea for, which was possibly better than the other title he had for it)
Man: (Is glad he wore his nice suit today)

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