I went to the hospital Monday night. I was having severe heart pains and trouble breathing. I hate doctors and hospitals. I am practically a Christian Scientist when it comes to medical care. While I was there I couldn't help noticing how much music is in an emergency room. This is not to say I was sitting there thinking of music the entire time - I was practically hyperventilating and suffering from a panic attack - but some curious thoughts and coincidences crept in my mind without me consciously realizing it.
--As I was getting a chest x-ray for the first time in my life the song "I Melt With You" was blasting from the doctor's station. Coincidence or morbid humor?
--I managed to probably be the first person in the history of Raritan Bay Hospital to get an x-ray done with a John Mayer Trio shirt on. Later on, a doctor told me that occassionally if you're wearing a shirt with lettering on it, it may show up in your scan. Was John Mayer's face in my x-ray?
--While I was waiting in the ER (the first time - I actually made two emergency trips that evening), they put the television on for me and a curious program entitled, "High School Musical: In the Picture" was on. I was too weak to change the channel so I watched. Former 98 Degrees singer and Jessica Simpson husband Nick Lachey hosts it and as an added bonus, reads minds. The entire time I was watching this very upsetting, emotionally crippling show I couldn't stop thinking that Nick looked miserable. He should be singing, I thought for the first time in my life. Suddenly I was thinking about how people do things because they have to and how life is a waste when out of nowhere Mr. Lachey decides to do a ten minute song himself, complete with fireworks, balloons, and what seemed like a dragon to far stage right. In my Motrin-induced stupor, I was certain he did this just for me.
--If you're wondering for some messed up reason what they play in the hospital at 1am, it's elevator music. Instrumental versions of Bon Jovi and Toni Braxton songs. "Living on a Prayer" with a saxaphone pretending to be Richie Sambora. They had given me drugs at this point but truthfully I think the music was enough to make my heart slow down.
--I wore my Johnny Cash shirt later on, in my second visit, and no one made any mention. I guess music isn't the first thing on Dr. Ali's mind when she's checking that I don't have a pulmonary embolism.
So, all in all, it was a more musical evening than I expected. It also proves the point that music is probably the most universal, diverse sound ever created. I could be in a convenience store, a gas station, or a hospital and hear the same songs. Interesting, right? Now excuse me while I take some more medication and ease back to the groovy sounds of "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones. No coincidences here.