Day shift has arrived, one of two; I am ready to leave but for a head CT report on B. B tells me he was minding his own business, downloading some ring tones at a bar when "some dude" hit him over the head. Nurse tells me he was scrapping. I tend to believe the scrapping bit; a five-inch head laceration to the skull tends to come with some feeling behind it. I suture. He tells me about his disabled son who goes to $childrens_hospital and his wife who is "an American girl, all blonde, ya know?" and cheated on him. Eight neatly tied knots later he's no longer bleeding, and happy about it.
We are standing around the doctor's station - I don't start a patient at 0640 when I'm leaving at 0700, night staff is already off the clock, and day shift is starting to pick up the charts of the kind of people who wander into the ER at 0400 - can't sleep for two days since the dog died; drunk and suicidal; chest pain and stomach pain. It's been a busy night - I've stitched up two heads and a knee; we've fielded the kind of drunks who call an ambulance for "a ride to hell", and there have been some sick folks too. I've learned that it is possible to shoot up OxyContin (you melt it and dissolve it) and now it's been capped off by the woman in full voice being marched down the hallway by Security.
Wow... night staff says admiringly. She's got rhythm.