Sol.: Jesus Meets the Devil at the ER

October 21st, 2010

A couple nights ago, I walked into a room where a young man was sitting crossed-legged.

He had his eyes closed and he rocked back and forth, whispering something I couldn’t make out. He seemed peaceful, but disturbed at the same time.

I watched him for a few seconds then turned to Darlene, the nurse who had been trying to triage him, and asked: “How long has he been doing this?”

“Ever since he got here — about fifteen minutes ago,” she said as she leaned against the wall.

“Alright,” I said, “Bud, what’s your name?”

He kept rocking, maintaining his rhythm, and whispering.

“Hey, what’s your name, man,” I said, shaking his shoulder.

At the feel of my touch he stopped, sat straight up and opened his eyes. They were blood-shot red.

“How dare you touch me!” he bellowed in a deep, booming voice. “I’m Jesus and I have been sent here to destroy you sinners….”

I jumped back, startled by his proclamation.

The nurse, unaffected, turned towards him and said: “Okay, whatever. Jesus, if you wouldn’t mind, we have to get you changed into a gown.”

“Jesus,” he screamed, “will not change….”

“Listen, buddy,” she snapped. “I don’t care if your name is Jesus, John or Mary — you’re changing into a gown!”

Just then the radio went off.

The devil reminded me of Woody Allen….

“I gotta answer this, Sol. Get him changed, will ya?” she said as she ran out of the room.

It took me a few minutes, but I was able to convince him that our gown was a robe like the ones Jesus wore in the Bible.

The nurse returned from the radio call and asked me to step out of the room. She slid the door shut.

“You’re not going to believe this,” she said.


“Paramedics say they’re bringing in a psych patient. Says he’s the Devil.”

“You shitting me?”

“No bullshit….”

“What the fuck is going on around here?”

She shrugged.

“What about this guy?” I said, pointing to Jesus.

“We’ll put the Devil on the other side of the ER. No need having the forces of good and evil waging battle in here.”

When the Devil arrived, he was actually mild mannered and almost apologetic for being the Devil. He had a demeanor that reminded me of Woody Allen.

“I know…I know you think I’m crazy. But… but I’m not. I don’t want to be the Devil. I just am,” he said as he changed into a gown without being asked.

“We don’t think you’re crazy, dear,” Darlene said.

“Good. I’m not going to give you a hard time. The Devil will cooperate with whatever you guys want.”

Oddly, I felt relieved that the Devil was being a better sport than Jesus.

The nurse continued with the typical triage questions….

“Is anyone harming you were you live?”

“No, I’m the Devil — who would harm the Devil?”

“Have you had any suicidal thoughts tonight, dear? Do you want to harm yourself?”

“No. The Devil wants only to harm others, not himself.”

As the nurse rattled off her questions, we heard the sound of a door being slammed opened.

It was Jesus. “I feel the presence of an evil so wicked,” he cried out, “it must be the Devil….”

Darlene and I looked at each other, stunned.

“Who the hell told Jesus the Devil is here?” she asked.

Jesus screamed, threw his gown to the floor and started in our direction.

“Jesus Christ,” I said

He ran towards us in full stride, naked, screaming: “I am Jesus, the Son of God. With my father’s help, I shall slay you.”

Before he reached us, another tech grabbed him and brought him to the ground. He struggled to break free, but more staff arrived and they were able to restrain him.

At the sight of this, the Devil became agitated. He paced back in forth in his room.

“What the fuck is this?” the Devil screamed, “I come to the hospital to get some help and you guys got naked Jesus trying to attack me? The Devil is not happy about this.”

Jesus continued to scream: “Devil, you will pay for your sins. I will slay you, so God help me!”

The screams became muffled as staff closed the door to his room.

I tried to console him: “Devil, you’ll be alright. We have him restrained now. Jesus won’t hurt you….”

He sat on the cart looked at the nurse and myself, smiled and sighed deeply.

“Sorry I got angry, guys. That’s not usually how the Devil operates. It’s just that, after all these years, Jesus, you know, he can’t let it go. I mean, I’m a good guy, right?”

Darlene winked at me and said: “I think you’re alright, Devil. You’re much better a patient than that Jesus guy.”

By Sol.

Editor’s Note: Sol‘s last ER dispatch for The Third City was Low Blows — Part II

One Response to “Sol.: Jesus Meets the Devil at the ER”

  1. […] Editor’s Note:  Sol.‘s last post for The Third City was Jesus Meets the Devil at the ER…. […]

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