Then it's later and Jackie's filling out paperwork, filling out paperwork, and Zoey's hovering about three feet back, and Jackie coughs Hovering so she steps back one single step and Jackie's filling out paperwork and she's hovering so Jackie goes, Still hovering, and it has no effect. Maybe she thinks it's rhetorical.
Finally, exasperated, Jackie loses the bet with herself that she wouldn't look up from the paperwork and looks up from the paperwork, and like a flock of well-meaning and soft-spoken weirdo Valkyries she descends. "I'm not sure that I can do this," Zoey says. "I mean you... You and Mom are so good at what you do. And the doctors, OH MY GOD. They're healers. And this place is so amazing..." Jackie isn't patient exactly but she neither hits the girl nor walks away, which is sort of the same thing. "I got into nursing school because I want to help people. And I'm afraid I'm just slowing you down."
Ugh, this thing. I've been the Zoey here and I've been the Jackie here and girl there is no escaping the ugliness. "Dear Boss Lady, why won't you love me?" Dear Underling, why the fuck do you need me to love you? "Dear Boss Lady, because I love you, because I want to be you, because I want the success and the passion and the knowledge and the ineffable rightness and righteousness that attends every choice and move you make." That's fine, but not right now, I'm not your Mom, feelings have no place here, and you just drooled on this. It was new. Now it is drooly.
Or what she says, which makes me wish that Nurse Jackie loved me at least as much as she loves Fitch Cooper, if not Zoey. "What's this about, nobody ate your muffins? You found an ear in the toilet? So what? This job is wading through a shitstorm of people who come into this place on the very worst day of their lives."
Wow, right? But there's more. "And just so you know, doctors are here to diagnose, not heal. We heal. All Saints is in the business of flipping beds, that's it, end of story. The fact that you have even the slightest inclination to help people puts you miles ahead of 100% of the population. So stop crying, okay? Buck up. If you need to cry, go to the ladies' room. Is that clear?"
It is. It might be necessary right now, actually, to stave that off. Jackie's the one that gets up and walks away; Zoey sits very still in the chair and thinks about Jackie and about saints and about goodness and the movement of finite suffering, and behind her Mrs. Akalitus suddenly appears, on the other side of the reinforced glass, smooshing her face across the window and laughing raucously to herself; waves to Zoey; keeps laughing.