I am sitting in the break room of my ER eating the delicious dinner my wife made for me (let me take a moment to give thanks and gratitude to her, something I try to do everyday).
There are six people in addition to me, and they are all engaged in a spirited conversation loud enough to hear over each other. Three conversations in three different languages in a small room. I realize I am reading a book on my iPhone in the middle of this glorious cacophony with total concentration. There is a TV blaring on the wall.
As I leave the room I walk around a corner and pass a stretcher occupied by an intoxicated mentally ill woman I know well. She cheerfully greets me by name and I do the same for her. As I pass she resumes her conversation with the security guard across the hall, discussing the merits of a local Thai restaurant.
NYC is a million small towns rolled into one very, very large city. My ER is one of those small towns.