The Story of a Tonsilar Abscess (with a supplemental playlist).

See below after you read. It ought to make sense.

Hospitals are funny places. For most people, it's the last place you want to be. But there's an odd transformation that occurs when you are actually admitted to one. When they first tell you that you need to be sent to an emergency room, the first thing you think is god, what an inconvenience. Isn't there something else? There's got to be an easier way. All you wanted was a prescription to make it stop hurting, or to make the swelling go down. Just make it stop. Now. But instead, you've got more hurdles to leap over (but you won't have the fortune of a running head start). You look at the nurse or the doctor, whoever it is that's telling you that you need treatment beyond what he or she can provide. You want to say to her, "Why You Gotta Make It So Hard?" It's not going to get you anywhere, though. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Somewhere around the time that you actually start getting treatment your opinion on the matter starts to change. It's hard to describe, exactly; and depending on how you get to the hospital, the change might come sooner rather than later. Maybe you're lucky enough to get a ride in an ambulance. They're not just reserved for people who've had their hands blown off or got their leg mauled by a pit bull, you know. Ordinary people with relatively minor illnesses get a flashing-lights-tour through the city too. The thought of riding in ambulance is all too scary until you're in it. "God, I'm in such bad shape that I need an ambulance?" you think. That's not always the case though, "better safe than sorry" is what they say. And while you're in there, you think that whatever happens, you'll come out of it with a good story--and the things you could do with that story!

Maybe this is the motivation you need to take charge on something in your life that you've been putting off. It's the classic epiphany that people have in movies all the time: where you realize your days are numbered and there's no sense in watching Cassandra walk by your desk every day without saying hello to her. Live each day as if it's your last, some big time actor always says.

Or maybe now you finally have content. Content for your next book. Your next script. Your next song. Your next album. God, this is gonna be a great story--and all the ways you can tell it! Maybe you'll write it out, plain as day in a memoir. Or maybe it'll come out in a poem, all the precise details hidden behind similes, metaphors, and a conglomeration of alliterated words. Don't forget a good juxtaposition. Maybe you'll write a song. Maybe each note will carefully re-tell how your eyes fell to the floor when you knew you were going to the hospital; or how the whole thing changed your life. You could even call it The Hospital Song.

This is it now. Your hospital visit is going to make a real, significant, life-altering transformation. You're finally free to make of yourself what you want. You're the un-phased "Yes" man. You're The Artist In the Ambulance.

If you don't get an ambulance ride, or even if you do, a change in attitude is amplified by your treatment--the complete care of a nurse, a doctor, an intern, an attending is all for you. Right now, you are their world. They want nothing more than for you to get and feel better. And God knows that's all you want to. They slowly become your little cheering section. Each pain killer they put in your IV and each injection they make in your body is really a shout of encouragement. It's a shake of the pom-pom and a "You can do it!" They're the firefighters out your window. They yell at you, "Don't worry, I"ll catch you."

Some people say that Hospital Rooms Aren't For Lovers. By no means is a hospital room romantic. The bed certainly isn't suited for love making. You wouldn't want to get over-excited in your delicate state, anyway. Plus, there are those nurses checking on you every few minutes. The truth is, though, that hospitals, maybe not hospital rooms specifically, but hospitals are for lovers. They are precisely for lovers. In fact, there is no better group of people that could enter a hospital together. For, you don't want to go to the hospital alone. No one does. Sure it would be nice if your family (as in your parents) were there. But they'd be obligated. The presence of your lady; her strong, tightening grip on your hand as she cries knowing you're in more pain than you can handle. These are one of the best things in the world. Obviously, you'd much rather not be in this situation where tears are quickly rising the water level in the room and the pain is enough to keep you constantly and involuntarily releasing a low murmur between your tired vocal chords. But really, it means a lot. The way she gives it up, gives everything up to bet there with you; the way she annoys the nurses to get you another dose of morphine; the way she stays with you while you sleep, so that you'll be the first thing you see when your groggy eyes open for the first time after coming out of surgery. All of these things are her way of saying, "I don't ever want you to be in this situation. But if you are, I Could Be There For You.

When it's all over, you're glad that you came. You almost feel sad leaving the place. You won't miss the feel of the cold, annoyingly sterile floor on your bare feet, or the way a random cry of pain from your hospital roommate will prevent you from sleeping through the whole night. But you've come to The Resolution. You will miss the camaraderie that you've built and the cheers from your nurses and hopes to get better. Oddly enough, despite the inconvenience and the terrible physical pain you've endured, something has made you better. Something has made you stronger. And you can't help but feel like you are The Luckiest.

The Tonsilar Abscess Playlist:
1. Michael Runion - "Why You Gotta Make It So Hard?" (I couldn't actually find a link for this one, let me know if you want it).
2. Ben Folds - "The Hospital Song"
3. Thrice - "The Artist In The Ambulance"
4. The Get Up Kids - "I'll Catch You"
5. Bear Colony - "Hospital Rooms Aren't For Lovers" (I couldn't find a link for this one either).
6. Eisley - "I Could Be There For You."
7. Jack's Mannequin - "The Resolution"
8. Ben Folds - "The Luckiest."

Don't watch all the videos if you don't want to. In fact, some of them are kind of weird.

Stay safe out there.