Waiting Room

The Price Is Time

aleXander hirka
3 min readSep 4, 2020


“Waiting Room”” (4 August 2020) — digital collage by AleXander Hirka

Andrew, Willie and Annette are extremely excited. They are jumping up and down in place with frantic, almost spastic enthusiasm — like little kids in desperate need to pee.

The source of their outrageous delight: A trip to Mexico — insert pictures of Mexico City night skyline, some tacos and a Mariachi band.
And that’s not all! —you will be coming home to. . . some new back yard furniture! A seating-for-six table swing, and an acacia wood bar with plenty of room for spirits, complete with stools and margarita glasses.

The frantic contestants are preparing to display their highly developed skills at being able to guess the cost of these select items.
Behind them, amidst the cheap gambling casino decor, is a roar of voices, an electrified sea of beaming faces and waving arms, cheering on the Consumer Gladiators.

The flat-screen monitor was virtually trembling on the wall from all that captured human adrenalin.

Franz, sitting in a chair across the room from the screen, is experiencing one of his bouts of existential angst. The very sound of TVs always kicked it up—no matter what was on—but the sight and sound of daytime broadcasting was the worst. Why did doctors’ offices choose to inflict this anxiety producing distraction on their already ill patients?

At another appointment a couple months ago it was some obnoxious celebrity coffee klatch devoted to discussing the minutiae of other celebrities’ lives. When that ended and the melodrama entertainment show they call “news” came on he went over and asked the receptionist if they could turn off the television. When she offered to merely turn down the volume, he insisted that he was allergic to television, no exaggeration. She rolled her eyes a bit but agreed, since the only other patient was in the corner reading a magazine.

With all the recent precautions to space out appointments and to keep people distanced, today he was the only one in the room. He quietly got up , looked over at the receptionist who was lost in her cellphone, went over to the screen, and found the off button.

Sitting back he could now hear the city sounds coming in through the open window—layers of distant voices and traffic…



aleXander hirka

Writer, visual artist, philosopher, autodidact, curmudgeon. More than half of what i do is make believe. https://alexanderhirka.nyc