Like faking your way into support group meetings for alcoholics or those addicted to pornography, hanging out in the hospital ER waiting room might not be the most respectable thing you could do. In fact, if you're trying to create some kind of real-time reality show by sitting around watching the parade of human misery and misfortune, hoping for a blunt-force trauma to come wheeling through the doors, it might be time to find a new hobby.
But those in search of a late-night locale to take a breather and reflect might find the ER a strangely peaceful place. Chances are, if you can slip by security, you'll be allowed to sit quietly and contentedly, basking in the sickly fluorescent overhead lighting while a TV mounted in the corner screens infomercials and other filler.
In a very weird way, it's an ideal place to bring a book (especially if you're actually there waiting to see a doctor). And if you get bored, there's a wealth of pamphlets you can browse. My personal favourite is the one on the UV index and its sequel on how to beat the summer heat.
When the staff appear, they kind of float around the hallways or head outside for a quick smoke, embracing lulls in the activity.
It's never pleasant to see someone ailing, but there's something kind of reassuring about watching a young guy with a large piece of gauze wrapped around his chin grin and strut toward the exit to head back out into the night.