“There must be a better way to make a living than this!” / Slam. / Silence, except for the persistent heartbeat. / The beat of the ticking time bomb, the dying heart.
“Puedo tomar su presión? Puedo tomar su pulso?” I butchered in Spanish, over and over again. Sometimes I received a smile and laugh in return, sometimes a look of confusion, sometimes a placid unfolding of the patient’s arm. I pumped the cuff up repeatedly and listened intently over the screams of playing children and the chatting of a long line of patients.