Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital

‘Recovery: Belize’ — an Off Off Off Broadway musical in development

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Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital -- one place to spend a holiday weekend ....
Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital — one place to spend a holiday weekend ….

Scene: A hospital recovery room in Belize. It is devoid of color, character and any hint of modernity. I think of the style as “institutional gothic.” It is early evening, there are six beds, all of them filled. Three  are young men in their late teens, early 20s. All three have broken right legs, plus scrapes, bruises. Two have their right arms in casts. All have been in motorcycle accidents.

On the other side of the room in the bed closest to the door is a young guy whose lungs were punctured in a knife attack outside of a Belize City nightclub on Saturday night. In the middle bed is a much older — and very caucasian — expat, looking very, very lost. In the bed closest to the window is Franklin Grant, a quiet and gentle rasta guy with a scraggly beard, red eyes and no legs.

Over each bed is a dusty metal fan. They sweep the room 24-7 and provide what little relief there is from the heat. No air conditioning, no nurse’s call button, no button to adjust the beds.

Into the room bursts the busily portentous and bald headed doctor followed a retinue of young women in white, all carrying clipboards or notebooks, with two doctorly looking men trailing. Probably interns. They carry no notebooks and project studiously bored looks. Read the rest of this entry »

So, I didn’t have a heart attack after all, but I still did something about it Part 1

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So, imagine this building in the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro is your heart. And those three very pissed off creatures inside it are the weird sensations you are feeling when you least expect it ....  Got it? Good. Because I haven't the slightest idea where to go with that except that if those dogs felt like jumping off the second floor, a heart attack would have been the least of my problems.
So, imagine this building in the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro is your heart. And those three very pissed off creatures inside it are the weird sensations you are feeling when you least expect it …. Got it? Good. Because I haven’t the slightest idea where to go with that except that if those dogs felt like jumping off the second floor, a heart attack would have been the least of my problems.

The pain started somewhere low in my throat. My breathing became shallow as the pain slowly oozed like black molasses across my chest and down my left arm.

My first thought was: “OK, this isn’t in our Belize Playbook.” Read the rest of this entry »