5Before noontime they’re at the fog machine again but they haven’t gotit turned up full; it’s not so thick but what I can see if I strain realhard. One of these days I’ll quit straining and let myself go completely,lose myself in the fog the way some of the other Chronics have, but forthe time being I’m interested in this new man - I want to see how hetakes to the Group Meeting coming up.Ten minutes to one the fog dissolves completely and the black boysare telling Acutes to clear the floor for the meeting. All the tables arecarried out of the day room to the tub room across the hall - leavesthe floor, McMurphy says, like we was aiming to have us a little dance.The Big Nurse watches all this through her window. She hasn’tmoved from her spot in front of that one window for three solid hours,not even for lunch. The day-room floor gets cleared of tables, and atone o’clock the doctor comes out of his office down the hall, nods onceat the nurse as he goes past where she’s watching out her window,and sits in his chair just to the left of the door. The patients sit downwhen he does; then the little nurses and the residents straggle in.When everybody’s down, the Big Nurse gets up from behind herwindow and goes back to the rear of the Nurses’ Station to that steelpanel with dials and buttons on it, sets some kind of automatic pilot torun things while she’s away, and comes out into the day room,carrying the log book and a basketful of notes. Her uniform, even aftershe’s been here half a day, is still starched so stiff it don’t exactly bendany place; it cracks sharp at the joints with a sound like a frozencanvas being folded.She sits just to the right of the door.Soon as she’s sat down, Old Pete Bancini sways to his feet andstarts in wagging his head and wheezing. “I’m tired. Whew. O Lord.Oh, I’m awfultired …” the way he always does whenever there’s a newman on the ward who might listen to him.The Big Nurse doesn’t look over at Pete. She’s going through thepapers in her basket. “Somebody go sit beside Mr. Bancini,” she says.“Quiet him down so we can start the meeting.”Billy Bibbit goes. Pete has turned facing McMurphy and is lolling hishead from side to side like a signal light at a railroad crossing. Heworked on the railroad thirty years; now he’s wore clean out but still’sfunctioning on the memory.