on the seventh of december in the evening a small woman came onto the ward and she was all full of some kind of attitude. i didn't have any clue what she was about, but she was all toughness and defiance. and on the back of her neck she had a tattoo, the kind that your pimp will sometimes brand you with, but it was a weird kind of mark; crossed fork and knife.
you meet all kinda people up there, and you can't assume what kind of life they're having.
in the morning we learned that this woman was a professional chef. and that tattoo, i thought, was a very funny and dark joke. i knew i was going to like this woman.
and we're sitting on a sofa in the common area, pretending to be reading while pandemonium goes on around us.
i say "pretending", because what we were really doing was eavesdropping and it was fascinating.
and without looking up, she says to me: "damn. i majored in cultural anthropology. and i forgot to bring my notebook!"