The muted blue curtain next to my door extends from the ceiling about three quarters down. When my door is open and the curtain is closed, I can see the bottom of these friends and family members legs and their feet as they begin to walk toward the window.
Sometimes it's little feet in sneakers followed quickly by polished nails in flip flops, a mom finding some happiness for a moment with her son. They stay, sharing whispers, before the little sneakers hurry away looking for a new adventure, too young to realize the setting is scary in its implication.
Other times it's dress shoes, walking slowly, a disconnected voice floating above the visible feet talking on the phone. "They brought her down for tests now. She wasn't able to open her eyes yet. I promise I'll call as soon as I know anything." The voice fades, but the man stays. Many minutes pass before I see his shoes again.
Outside my door I can hear wheels rolling down the cool linoleum. I've learned to tell the difference between the more grumbly wheels of the cleaning cart from the precise wheels of a gurney. I often wonder if the cleaning woman or scared, new patient steals a glance out the window before moving on, the scene temporarily cheering them or perhaps leaving them with a sense of longing.
I see my nurse's bright, Danish clogs, and I'm instantly soothed by their presence. They've become cookies and lemonade passed through a slot in a cell.
When I'm able, I go for slow walks around the hallway -- getting glimpses of these friends' and family members' faces along the way, some laughing alongside the patient in bed while others sit quietly next to their loved ones, still as a frozen shadow. Before returning to my room, I look out the little window with the trees and hills and happy water tower, hoping the time will pass.