WK6–Artist Short Story–Ariel Maldonaldo

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Untitled

Ariel Maldonaldo

Ceramics

6″ x 6″

2017

CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East

Inside the mind of a 10 year old

The Hospital. It is that time of year again. It is that time of year that I go in with my mommy to go get my yearly check up. I’m scared. Really scared. I’m scared of the needles. Why the needles? They don’t need my blood. I tell my mommy, “Can’t I just stay here playing with these toys?” She responds with “No, you need to get your physical done.” I just stayed there playing with the bead maze, trying to think of a way to escape this place.

The idea haunts me of meeting these “strangers” and having them take a look at me. Didn’t my mom always say to never interact with strangers? I don’t know any of them, yet they know everything about it.

The receptionist calls out “Sergio Perez”. Oh no. It’s happening. My mom drags me by my hand and takes me into one of the rooms there. Once inside, we wait until the doctor comes inside to check up on me. “You are becoming a big boy,” says the doctor as he examines my height and weight. “Now breath in and out,” as he has that metal thing up to my back. So so very cold. “Open wide, say ‘Ahhhhh’.” Okay, well now that that’s over, he tells my mom for me to pee in the cup to see how my pee is. I think to myself, “this isn’t so bad.” I become less nervous being around these people who I don’t know as they check for my eyesight and hearing. But right when I thought things were good, they become bad.

“Okay, can I have you place your arm outwards toward me,” says the nurse as she rubs the alcohol on my arm. Oh no, it’s happening. I started screaming at my mom to not let this happen. She told me that it had to happen no matter what. She had me turn to look at her, to just try to ignore the needle. I couldn’t ignore it when it started to stab me, and that’s when I started crying. What seemed to be 1 hour was actually only around 30 seconds, yet I was there acting like I was dying. The nurse then put a band-aid on my arm and gave me a lollipop so that I could feel better.

As I was leaving the hospital with my mom, I couldn’t help but stare back at the bead maze and wonder to myself, “Why can’t I just come to play with the toy?” The bead maze was really just an illusion for me, it tricked me into thinking that everything was going to be okay, when in reality, I was going to be given a needle shot from strangers that I don’t know.

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