Wednesday, April 29, 2009

As Heard in the Emergency Room on Saturday Evening

Nondescript woman on the phone behind the front desk in the ER: "Hello, this is Shelley, I did not know that I was scheduled to work tonight, therefore I didn't come in but I'm here now. I didn't make it til the end of the shift that I didn't know I had and they told me to just go home. Please call me and let me know if I'm still employed." Slam. Stomp off and out the automatic doors in a huff. Quite a show for the huddled groups of sick, injured, or faking-it patrons. And oh so very professional.

When did the ER turn into Super America? I wonder to myself.

Middle-aged husband injured playing a child's game. I don't blame him a bit. Sometimes you've got to push back against time.
"You look familiar, have we met?" says the orderly wheeling he and his very swollen foot into a holding area.
"Nah," my husband says.
I peek behind the curtain to assess our surroundings.

A baby is crying inconsolably behind the curtain in the next cubicle. Screeching. Sobbing. My nipples tighten.
Can you spontaneously lactate after a decade of inactivity? Is anyone with that baby? He/she can't stop crying.
Somebody do something.

"Someone save the baby," sings a very heavy ER worker walking down the hallway with a white styrofoam cup in her hand.
She's walking away from the baby's cubicle.

We sit and wait. And wait. A physician that oddly resembles the guitarist from Soul Asylum steps in, looks at my spouse's swollen block of a foot, and says, "We'll need an x-ray."

The baby's still crying. A doctor or nurse or employee in hospital scrubs, is talking loudly and condescendingly to a short silent man with copper bronze hair who's standing in the hallway trying to read the eye chart. "Can you read any of these letters?" shouts the employee to the paying customer. Maybe the silent man is mute. He shakes his head, and gestures wildly towards his eyes shaking his head and pleading. "You're a diabetic," the examiner discovers glancing at a chart, "when did you last have insulin?"

The baby ramps up into blood curdling shrieks. All this time, I've not heard a comforting adult voice behind that curtain. I envision a baby alone strapped into its car seat bucket, I want to do something.

Twenty minutes pass, a pretty woman with royal blue hair extensions wheels my husband in to X-ray.

Moaning, groaning, pure sounds of agony emitting from a suffering young woman who's hunched over, no doubled over. Breathless gasps, tears, breathing, ouch, oh, ouch, ohhhhhhh. I think she o.d.ed though I have no reason to assume this except that she looks like the girl I went to middle school with who o.d.ed on speed in the girls bathroom during the seventh grade dance.
She disappears behind the cloth wall sanctioning the next waiting station. "Someone please help me," she whimpers.

"I'm from Triage," says a woman in street clothes to another woman in hospital garb, "she has a long family history of severe hypochondria." The baby is till wailing on the other side and I'm starting to become de-sensitized to his/her pleas.


Conrad said...

I feel your pain,actually in my eye, not in my ankle. I too spent last saturday night in the E.R. As I was tucking in my 8 year old, she reached out to hug me from behind and practically gouged my eye out with her thumb, and caused an abrasion to the cornea.
Some of my thoughts about the incident:
-I told my wife that we should leave immediately to avoid the rush of drunks. Apparently, drunks begin drinking earlier in the day than I do.

-At first I felt guilty about quick walking to the door to beat a woman carrying a sick baby to be first in line. After awhile, not so much, as my simple parenting skills led me to believe that I was in much more need of medical attention then slimy nose Sally.

-When the doctor offered writing me a prescription for pain medication, I turned it down, because I knew it would mean that I would have to wait around an extra 45 minutes to receive it.

-I told my wife that maybe in a couple months one of the kids could break my fingers, as Saturday night was the closest we've come to a date night in months.

Denis Dineen said...

Hi. Sad night. Hope someone steps up to give that baby a fighting chance. How did your husband come out of it?

Marz said...

I do love people who are "sticklers for grammar and spelling" and then say : "Speak of him with the respect that he deserves: not only you husband,"

Laurie said...

Well, I'm definitely NOT walking on sunshine..which one are you? Amy? Kim? Hatbox? The famously depressed writer whose name evades me? (trying to think of all the NY gals...) Sorry my writing style chaps your hide; yours does little for me -- it's probably safe to say we must both be acquired tastes. Last time I checked I've been an artist most of my adult life, and my relationship with Paul has never been used as a bargaining chip. It's been more of a hindrance actually. My graduate degree was paid for by teaching which covered tuition so that I might become employable. I purposely went with my literary agent and editor because neither had ever heard of my poor long suffering husband.

rubykitty said...

laurie - don't even take your time to explain anything to this waste of a person. they will never "truly realize maximum happiness in my own life" as they are the miserable element in their own life. good god - what an angry horrid person.
sorry, didn't have time to use spell check or AP stylebook. sue me fucker!

mgoride said...

Irene, is that you? Didja forget to take your meds? Be a good patient and listen to Nurse Ratched.

Man, no wonder Paul semi-jokes about keeping a .38 in the house.

Leo's Mom said...

Wow, Walking on Sunshine, get a life.

Laurie, that person is obviously a very jealous person. I feel bad for her. Anyone who would write a message like that - needs HELP. I personally love your writing style. I just loaned your book to a friend this morning - he's going to it love too! Take care...

Brady said...

"I'm in a major transition in my life..." From what to what? Narcissist to sociopath?

Laurie said...

somehow the meaning of "namaste" has been sharply (omg a dreaded adverb) bastardized. Okay, I'm done. I showed P.; he says, "You wonder why I've been so silent?" uh-oh grammatical b.s. galore, he migh've even said "ain't". thank god I've switched to fiction.

Laurie said...

oh and the nerve damage bit; you don't know nerve damage...

m. said...


Jealousy isn't very becoming. You might wanna just continue to listen to your worn copy of Tim on vinyl and cry into your pillow some more. At least that way you won't be embarrassing yourself in public so much.... cause yeah... yikes.

kim said...


It's fascinating that Walking On Sunshine can conduct herself in such a public forum and not even give her name.

For anyone who has sat with their partner in an emergency room, it is not only painful for the patient, but the person. It is just a testament to your marriage and your relationship and one of those "things" that couples do together.

I find it hilarious that someone has decided to hang a moniker around your neck that you did not even ask for. As someone who was married to someone of slight celebrity status here in Chicago, I got that all the time. And for someone to say that you only got where you are because of your husband's connections is obviously coming from a place of jealousy and not "concern for Paul" as she says.

Enjoy your life, your writing which is extremely readable and enjoyable, and basically....tell her to go fuck herself.b

skinners said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
skinners said...

"Show that you care about his happiness as I do"

"It is finally time for me to get over my irritation that you are married to Paul"

“And I have also always felt that you have used your son as a pawn and a bargaining tool”
These are the dead giveaways that we're dealing with somebody who's a few tacos short of a combo plate. Sick, twisted people like this are the bane of every person who's even remotely public, let alone "famous." We all know the type: sad losers who hover around on the periphery of reality, spreading their hatred and malevolence around like a bad case of the clap. Resorting to ad hominem professional and personal smears with no insight into the target of their bile or any regard for the truth. Pathologically unsound – if not downright dangerous – "fans" that exist in a netherworld consumed with obsession, jealousy and bitterness. It’s amazing to think that a person can become this detached from reality merely because they brushed up against somebody once who was more talented than they could ever be. Restraining orders were invented for people like this. If this all sounds a bit harsh, well WOS said it best – “as I have no evidence, so it's merely my gut speaking.” Indeed.

Laurie, I know you’ve dealt with this kind of thing before. You have many admirable qualities that are beyond the comprehension of the type of person who would viciously attack the wife of somebody they profess to admire, respect and (gag me) “love.” As hard as it may be, brush it off and rise above. The world is a much better place with you in it, something that is demonstrably untrue in regards to WOS. As Mr. Kristofferson once said, “don’t the bastards get you down.”

Finally, “the _real_ reason you got a book deal was because you are married to Paul. End of story.
I'm sorry to state the truth so bluntly.”

No, the real reason you got a book deal was because you wrote a great book, easily one of the best rock tomes to come down the pike in years. End of story. I’m most definitely not sorry to state the truth so bluntly.

RosaQumby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RosaQumby said...

Sometimes the sinful me wishes just one person were as envious of my fabulosity as Sunshine is of yours, Laurie!

Since grammatical accuracy is so important to Sunshine, she will want to know that that "and" should be replaced with "to" in the following phrase: "to try and jumpstart your career". I believe jump-start is a hyphenated word.

Laurie, you are a terrific writer. keep it up!

Meryt Bast said...

ER rooms are hellholes. I hope the Hubs is feeling better and won't be sidelined for long.

If I were in your marital position, I'd probably go armed at all times and have landmines in the yard. There's a lot of crazy out there. I'm sorry some of it wormed its nasty way here.

Why "Walking on Sunshine" is a used douchebag said...

Laurie! I started a blog called "why Walking on Sunshine is a Used Douchebag."

It outlines the travails of comically damaged single New York woman with a birthday coming up at the end of summer, who's still in love with a man who can't stand her. She tried her "hand" at being a musician, only to wind up living alone in Brooklyn with four working fingers. (Some doctors said it was the undiagnosed Syphilis that ruined her nerves, others said it was the chronic, frantic masturbating with a guitar handle.)

Undeterred in her quest for love, she packs her blistering vagina on ice (the rash, the rash!) and spends her time drifting around the internet looking for attention from worthy sources, namely on Ann Coulter's fan page and your blog.

Do not underestimate the poetry of an angry bitch who says "Shalom." Do not overlook the beauty of an anonymous sniper who signs off with "Namaste."

Do not think for one minute a spiteful, single woman who sits and stares out the smudged window of her brownstone in Brooklyn and wonders what her life "could" have been is unoriginal!

Do Not!

For this is the original tale of an incredible spirit, a woman who is bound to do great things with her life, create breathtaking beauty and inspire millions...

right after she's done reading everything you ever wrote and tells you how much she hates you, and you're a stupid-face and your man should be her man because her vagina is WAAAAAAAAAAY bigger then yours and you are a poody-head.

There's no reason for her to be sorry her life resembles the grease stain underneath a decommissioned Porta-Potty, because when she finally shakes off all this vitriolic bile that coats her pug-nosed face like viscous anti-freeze, (and she will! she goes to yoga!) because when she finally does stop being angry enough to give herself cancer...her life is gonna be awesome.

skinners said...

"Therefore, it is not for you to comment on my health situation"

I just *love* that one. But it's OK for WOS to comment in the most vicious, hateful manner possible about somebody she's never met and knows next to nothing about. What does it say about a person who would impugn somebodys artistic talent, fitness as a mother and wife, and entire moral compass without just cause or any consideration of the damage and pain that might ensue?

"Verbal warfare with me is not a game for the weak of heart"

Ooh, I'm shaking. On the off chance that you were being disingenous about not coming back, let me just say that I'm game -- in a battle of wits with me sweetheart, you would essentially be unarmed.

And please, no more "shaloms" -- that's utterly blasphemous coming from someone as *shlekht* as you.

Marz said...

Well, we all have pasts, Sunshine (could you have picked a more ironic username?). But only L.L., the actual blogger, has a present and a future with P.W.

Let it go, girl.

BTW, you had at least two more errors in your last post. I'll let you find them.

Jonathon said...


Walking on Sunshine reminds me of the "Missed Connections" section of Craigslist. Desperation, vanity. The inability to listen to the little voice in the head that tells you to ignore all the bigger, louder, and crazier voices.

Walking on Sunshine also reminds me of the new Beyonce movie, Obsession. Delusional woman, the mistaken assertion that said woman she is wanted by completely uninterested man, and more than anything, bad acting.


Amy said...

You know, it strikes me that someone who claims to love and respect your husband so much treats him like some kind of simpleton who allows himself to be used and manipulated like a stupid child. Usually, when I respect someone, I assume that he makes the choices in his life that make him the most happy and fulfilled.

"Shalom and Namaste" indeed. Someone needs to look up the big words she's using.

rubykitty said...


"This is for Laurie and the rest of her devoted following:
Fear not, I have no intention of reading any more posts on this blog."

wasn't this a couple comments back? can't stay away, can you?

theo said...

What a fucking cunt.

Why "Walking on Sunshine" is a used douchebag said...

KIM KIM KIM! What about me??? You didn't mention me! I made a WHOLE BLOG about you - didn't you see it? Do you not understand my language? Should I use bablefish to translate my writings into "Cuntish?"

Go to my new blog and read today's entry. I put your picture up.

(You seem a little retarded, maybe you couldn't find the blog before, so just click on my name, which will take you to my profile and show you my blogs name. Then click on the blog. It's named after you and there's a poll gathering ideas on what has lodged itself up your anus.)


af33rdjuly said...

Laurie, YOU ARE A SAINT. There. I said it. And I am one of the girls who knew Paul. But not 'knew' in the biblical sense. I always felt a kind of solidarity with ya Laurie because you and I have the same taste in pocketbooks. AND after those years went by and we all got married and HAD KIDS I was glad that Paulie was settled and HAPPY. 'Boring Enormous' made me smile. I hate the girls who hang by the bus nowadays hoping for some fun, rock star style. ESPECIALLY the girls who slept with Tommy in '86...I mean, are they serious?? But what I really wanna know is, why are there so many girls (there are a lot of them, aren't there Laurie???) who think that they were the only ones who truly could have made Mr. W. 'happy'???? What was in that cold pizza you ate in his hotel room gals????? But maybe I missed something.
Anyway Ms. Lindeen, keep doing what you're doing. You have a friend in New Jersey. Good luck with your son. Get a few years your son will be a teen. And nothing, NOTHING you've ever been through prepares you for the TEEN YEARS!!! Fasten your seat belts!!! 15 is hell. (ah but with such cool parents, your son won't morph into a cretin)

Anonymous said...

Laurie, in the end of all of this horrible hatred and those unkind words, you are a still a wonderful woman, wife, mother and friend to many people. You are smart and kind and funny and talented. These are the things for you to remember not the nasty words from someone who don't even know!

skinners said...

WOS/Kim/pyschostalkerbitch/whatever --

Laurie didn't delete that comment, I did due to some unfortunate html editing issues with a previous comment.

Your chutzpah is matched only by your delusional paranoia.

skinners said...

As long as some people are selectively posting random reviews, I'll play too.

“Petal Pusher is a terrific piece of writing”

Everett True, Village Voice

“Oh, those really were the days. Lindeen gets them right, in all their pre-MySpace, pre-cellphone, ragged, clumsy glory. And most of all, Lindeen's whip-smart mind and massive heart make them shine. You don't have to have lived this story to be moved by her unsparingly honest -- and wickedly funny -- recollection of a young artist in search of herself.”

Chrissie Dickinson, Washington Post

“Easily the best music-related book I’ve read all year”

Rob van Alsytne, Reveille

Sharp and sensitive, stoned silly and serious, all in the right places… Lindeen skillfully details great and not-so-great gigs, horrible hotels, wonderful (if weird) fans, boyfriends and all sorts of strange events and locations…in what is a truly wonderful book about life in rock music

Associated Press review

“Lindeen’s book is not just “A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story” as its subtitle suggests, but a fine personal memoir, a moving coming-of-age story, a riotous road tale, a comedy and a tragedy that succeeds on all counts”

Bob Mehr, GoMemphis

And, finally,

“You’re a writer, you should write.”

Paul Westerberg (quoted in Petal Pusher)

mbmpls said...

holy shit i do not know if i should laugh or cry. i am always amazed at the crazy ass fans that presume to know about the lives of those they idolize. what a wack job, probably some chick from pittsburg (no offense pittsburg) that paul wouldn't f**k after a show and she's still pissed.

Jennifer said...

With all due respect - honestly - I really have to comment here because of the freak show that happened in the comments section. And I really do mean with all due respect.
I cannot believe that women, in this day and age and at a certain level of at least chronologic maturity, will still go at each others metaphoric throats over a MAN! And I don't care who that man is. It is archaic behavior ladies! The last place that we should ever be non-supportive of another woman should be over a man. More importantly, women should never attack one another over...A MAN!
If women attack one another over a man - SHAME ON THAT MAN!! And shame on the ladies who took the bait and let the man go without blame. Women - support one another!

Hannah said...

Hey Laurie! I'm your crazy fan that you met in New York last September. I created an account initially because some comments that were published on this post made me sick, and I wanted to show my support for you. But school got in my way, as it always does, unfortunatly. I know we shouldn't dwell on that trouble, but I just wanted to tell you that the way you handled such a hideous situation was very classy and mature. I really look up to you. Enough about that.
I just wanted to know how you are doing. I hope you and your family are well. I wanted to ask you if you got into the whole Twilight frenzy...because I have. It's addictive, seriously. I'm now reading the series again for a second time. I also wanted to recommend a 90's grunge musical group called the geraldine fibbers fronted by Carla Bozulich. I like them, and you might too. Their career was short lived (2 studio cds, one live) but good quality. Actually Carla Bozulich's whole discography is excellent. I also have been wondering if you are a Michael Jackson fan. Since he died I started listening to some of his songs. It's terrible that it was his death that jarred a sudden interest in me to listen to him. I boycott facebook, myspace, and such (because as my dissapproving friends say technology hates me and I'm so 1980's) so this is my only way to drop you a line. I hope you don't mind the strange means of contacting you. And I also hope I can redeem myself because the last time we NY...I was so starstruck that I was nearly foaming at the mouth and staring intently at you...(I'm surprisd I didn't pee my pants). You're that awesome... I hope you don't think I'm a freak...although I'd understand it if you did. I'd like to give you my e-mail address when it's not going to the whole world. I have pictures that we took if you'd like to see them (you look so pretty eventhough you said you don't photograph well). Well I hope to hear from you soon. Take care!

Brewer Bertram said...

I'm a blogger in the bloggiverse. A fan of you and Paul's. I wish you both the best. I don't believe in digging in the past, then slinging it into the future. Eff that. I've learned at the ripe old age of 38, that at some point, I took the wrong turn at the "fork". So be it, but I'm not blaming it on or taking it out on somebody, who chooses to express themselves creatively. (which you do well, I may add) Good luck, you guys, in your marriage and your professional lives.

I really dig you both.