There’s a chapter in the story that Martanda left out. Please, allow me…
First, I have to admit the man was amazing in tolerating the absurdly small and uncomfortable ER bed upon which we spent the night, and he didn’t complain about the tiny black and white tv that showed only four channels (static included), and he was incredible in comforting and soothing and caring etc etc like all suffering women want.
But that was before they lanced the infection.
Martanda patiently allowed me to squeeze while the Asian doctor stabbed needles into my elbow in order to numb it. Martanda even sat quietly and watched as the doctor picked up the knife and carefully examined my arm to determine where the incision should be. But shortly after the knife went in—at that moment when blood and puss were pouring out and I needed a hand more than ever before—Martanda declared he was feeling light-headed and stood up.
What?! He grabbed an apple and sat in the chair across from me. “What’s happening?” I asked. He bit into the apple. “Martanda, what are you doing?” He took another bite. Then his eyes rolled a little bit. “Buddy?” Another bite, with just the whites of his eyes showing. “Hello?!” And Martanda’s head dropped, his chin touched his chest, his eyes shut…and he took another bite of apple.
“Uh, I think he’s fainting,” I said, panicked, to the doctor. He kept tending to my arm. In that split second I couldn’t help but wonder: ‘What is it with these men?’
I finally got the doctors attention, who then rushed to help Martanda snap out of passing-out mode and walked him outside, where a nurse was sitting. “Can you help him? He’s fainting a bit.”
Martanda sat on a chair outside in front of the nurse, proclaimed: “I’m fine! I just need to lie down,” and took another bit of the apple.
“Can you walk?” she asked.
“No problem,” he said with a new mouthful of apple.
She turned to lead him to the bed…and he fully passed out, slipping off the chair and onto the hospital floor, apple in hand.
All I could hear was laughter.
Apparently he came to and the nurse dragged him to the nearest bed, where she asked if she could take the apple away. “No, I need it.” And he continued eating.
At this point she came in trying to diplomatically hide her amusement and said, “Don’t worry, he’s fine…but he’s awfully attached to that apple!”
I suppose it’s only fair that I also share it was he who squeeze the gunk out of my first boil, perhaps making him less of a wuss than this story portrays him as. Still, it was arguably the funniest thing me—or any of the nurses in the ER—had seen in a long, long time.