Thursday, April 29, 2010


The absolute best way to get to The Hospital of University of Pennsylvania (HUP) from Lancaster is by Amtrak.   It is deceptively expensive however.    Parking at the Lancaster train station is $5.   The half of a 3 X 5 card taped to the parking meter post says, if you plan to park there for more than 3 hours it will behove you to find the dude in the shed and pay him.   The Lancaster, PA Amtrak station is under construction and there are about 8 little sheds with dudes in them.   Careful inspection reveals only one with an electric wire running to it.   That is where I went.   The guy inside was only visible from the bridge of his nose to the baseball cap.   Kind of like the neighbor on Tool Time,  or a superhero, Parking Lot Man!   Or a super villain.   Mysterious Dent In My Car Man!   I don't know, but his voice is familiar, "Its five bucks, for the day."  Who is that?  "You over there?" the eyes glanced toward my car.  After I assured him I was between the lines, I took the receipt and headed for the train.  The ticket agent inside asked for an photo ID and $36?  But people buy tickets on the train.   "They don't need an ID.   They are already on the train."   Stephen Wright! The guy in the shack sounds just like the comedian.   I know now where Stephen Wright spends his time off,   in the shed at the corner of the parking lot in the Lancaster, PA Amtrak station.

I had a good time waiting in the station.   Everybody was texting or calling somebody and looking at the schedules until the train comes.  This one is an express, we make one stop at Paoli and we are soon gliding though the badlands of north Philly on our way to 30th Street Station.   Perfect timing, the $2 University City bus is waiting right outside and I was crossing Spruce Street 9 minutes before my appointment with the guy who sliced 3 levels of cancer riddled lymph nodes out of my neck.   No waiting in a crowd for the elevator to take us to the 5th floor.   Only an hour and a half on the plastic chairs to get the anti-histamine and numb stuff blown up my nose holes in a little room.   The Dr. breezes in about 35 minutes later, glances at my chart, clicks some stuff off on the computer and says "We call this a cure."  He might have said more.  I do remember saying thanks.  He was matter of fact.  I was no longer interesting to him.  Cured.  Dismissed.

Apparently I came back because here I am.   Cured?  No cancer?   Ha Ha HA.   How about that?   It feels weird.  Not bad weird but nice.   Better than graduation or a divorce.   Kind of a tattoo that nobody can ever see.  Like when you have a real good lawyer who gets the charges dropped or when a cop pulls over the guy driving right behind you.   It's like the Sound a bullet makes when it goes right by, close.  There is no other sound like that in the world.  That is exactly what the Doctor said      Buzzzwwwwrrrrssssh.

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