"I have a spelling test," Stephanie explains (Daffodil), and goes back to it. Jackie notices a brightly colored folder in her backpack, covered in glittered rainbows and happy clouds, the color of chicken soup sunshine. EMERGENCY INFO, it says in puffy letters. "What was her blood pressure this morning," Jackie asks quietly and offhandedly, and without a pause Stephanie looks up: "120 over 80." Jackie asks if the grandmother's even really coming, and Stephanie looks away. Disguise. Confide. "Wanna see your mom?" Stephanie smiles, and Jackie carefully replaces the folder.
Then it's later, and Dr. Cooper's looking at the mom's X-ray. "This is the daughter," Jackie explains, and even more quietly: "Her name is Stephanie. She's ten. Be cool." Which of course sets off the twitching, flailing mess that is Coop attempting to be cool. "Oh great! Hello there, Stephanie, how are you? I'm Dr. Cooper, want a sticker?" It's hard to figure out whose hand is limper in the handshake, as Jackie and Stephanie consider punching him in the face. "She's ten, not two." He drops the Barney act and says, in an accusing tone, "She's a kid." Right, but of all people would Jackie Peyton bring a "kid" into the ICU if the kid couldn't handle it? "Show her some respect, please."
Coop gets a little high and mighty about the possibility of Jackie not being right in every single circumstance, which she is, and pulls rank ("Let me do my job"), which means a boob-grab is two steps away, because no way is Jackie sitting still for that. Coop's job, she whisper-shouts, is to provide the patient with the best possible care. "Which includes informing the caregiver of her condition." She stabs the air: "She is the caregiver. Get your head out of your ass." And... There's the boob-grab. Jackie almost punches him, and scoots instead.
The first time I ever noticed the whole flash-card/crossword thing, the ease with which you could use it if you wanted, was a short story in one of those Datlow/Windling fairytale anthologies, a Patricia McKillip retelling of "The Snow Queen," in which the keyword of Andersen's story is discovered in a funny sex joke about crossword puzzles. Great story, seek it out. But then, I always loved Andersen and Wilde fairytales the best when I was very little. Maybe it's genetic.
I just couldn't really get into the Grimms: all the boys did was poke around where they weren't wanted, and the girls were worse, they'd just sit there and have horrible shit done to them. Rose Red, I liked her, and the Twelve Dancing Princesses, all that imagery, and some of the ones with animals. Mostly they just didn't feel relevant. I mean, it's not really a mystery why I didn't feel a point of entry in those stories, or why giant queers like Andersen and Wilde, um, provided more meaningful or edifying mythology for the man I would one day be?