I was in the ER yesterday morning.

I have these episodes where I start vomiting and can’t stop. I’ll get sick every 10–20 minutes for hours and hours and eventually I’ll throw in the towel and go to the hospital, especially when my oral anti-nausea meds don’t work.

The trip was fine. My uber driver was amazingly understanding. I told her I wasn’t contagious and I had Crohn’s disease, and she went on to say she had ulcerative colitis, and totally understood. She was so nice. I felt so bad, sitting in the back of her badass, gothic-inspired black Lincoln, heaving into my trash can.

I didn’t have to wait long to be taken back, as it was 6 in the morning, a time when even downtown Chicago is relatively quiet. My first IV failed because I was crazy dehydrated, but they finally got another one in and gave me IV zofran (which stopped the vomiting, finally), IV Benadryl and reglan, and two bags of fluids. Within two hours I felt like I wasn’t about to die anymore, so that was nice.

My room was right outside the police scanner/radio/whatever the hell they talk into to tell the hospital about traumas, and for the most part I didn’t pay attention to what was called in. About twenty minutes before I was released, one call caught my attention. “Two gunshot victims, looks like the boyfriend shot his girlfriend in the head and then shot himself. Brain matter on scene.”

I don’t have many words for the feelings that call has given me. It’s stuck in my head, this grief for the two lives that no longer are. The world can be a terrible place.

There I was, surrounded by doctors and nurses and surgeons who were working hard to save every life that came through the hospital doors, and the only thing I was aware of in that moment.. was death. Even writing about it I am not satisfied with what I have to say. I wish the world was not so horrible.

A single golf clap? Or a long standing ovation?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.