Storytelling Contest

This submission by Lena Alazzeh entry won second prize in the 2019 Synapse Storytelling Contest photography category.

Tank Hill is a short, steep walk from Parnassus campus. While studying for the qualifying exam in my PhD program, I spent a lot of my days sedentary, just reading and writing.

Seated in plain sight he is invisible

The passersby halt for a moment to note

That something might be there, but they

Aren’t really sure.

 

She pauses a moment longer than most.

******* is a 50-year-old *******-speaking WOMAN, Present in the EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT. Immigrant from El Salvador.
With one hand pressed over the gash above my left eye in an effort to provide some hemostasis, I hurriedly walked into the nearest clinic that was open on an early Sunday morning.

They tell us we have options innumerable

An unseen multiple choice test, and even

Better - we do the grading. We set the rubric.

But some choices are traps and each time

“When does the Clinic open?” I hear amongst the bustle as I walk down the crowded aisles of beds at the Multi-Service Center South with my pen, notepad, and stethoscope.

Editor's note: Ninad Bhat's "Patience" took second place in the Synapse Storytelling Contest creative writing, poetry category.

The room is encased in silence

Threads of conversation untwined for a moment

“I did a dose response curve using bleach. To my great delight, it worked perfectly! It was the most potent of all my test compounds.” — Alex Smart, PSPG graduate student. Drug development has been in a crisis, with the field of oncology being hit hard.

My first day on rotations was your last day on earth.

This morning when you woke up, did you think it might be the last time?

I hope you had a nice breakfast.