On House

House and Home

By Jillian Hancock

There are few things as comforting as your home.

Stepping through the door is all it takes; you begin to relax before you even shrug off your coat. The color of the paint on the walls, the scent that lingers in the air, even the familiar way light floods in the window combine to result in a balm that goes far beyond the sum of its parts. Coming back home after a long absence completes a part of you.

So it must be unsettling to go to snip off your hospital bracelet only to find that the scissors aren’t in that drawer where you’ve always left them. And the stained and moth-eaten sweatshirt you fold neatly under your pillow each morning is now wadded into a ball. By the time you get into the kitchen and discover that all of your sandwich ingredients have mysteriously vanished, you might wonder if you got your physical health back at the cost of your mind.

Having finally sawed through the plastic bracelet with a steak knife, you sit on the edge of your bed, uneasily twisting knots in the thin plastic strap, completely unaware that the explanation for your unease is literally at your fingertips:

ID: 58873 Adm: 12-31
Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital
Dr. Gregory House

“What sort of hospital has glass walls?”

Hypochondriacs must dream of getting admitted to a place like Princeton-Plainsboro; the hospital radiates a natural cleanliness through its architecture and design. The sign above the clinic glows a reassuringly antiseptic shade of neon  …

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