Sunday, September 30, 2007
The Silent Meeting
The waiting room was long and narrow with a row of chairs along each wall. It reminded me of a subway car only there were no advertisements above the heads of the passengers to allow you to discreetly observe fellow travelers. A young man sat across from me. He was thoroughly absorbed in one of the dozen of sports magazines in the doctor’s waiting room. Next to him sat an elderly women with her arm supported in a sling. A woman roughly my age was sitting next to the elderly woman. We smiled politely to each other.
Ma started grousing about the wait.
I tried to count the impressions on the dentil molding and not to eavesdrop on the elderly woman and her companion. The elderly woman was complaining about the wait too.
I smiled politely to the companion. She inclined her chin towards Ma and Dad and then pointed her chin my way.
I nodded with a sheepish smile. Yup, they’re my folks.
She tipped her head towards the elderly woman sitting next to her and then rolled her eyes. This is my Ma.
We both hid our smiles. We had made a connection like Masons and the secret handshake.
Ma was called into the examination room. Dad trailed after her dragging the pockabook behind. Several minutes passed and then Ma could be heard complaining about the wait. She had to use the ladies’ room and it would serve the doctor right if she went right then and there.
I shook my head at my sympathetic companion and rolled my eyes. Help me, Lord!
She shrugged. What can you do?
A short time later, Ma’s examination was done and she pushed her walker down the hallway. More complaints about the wait. At least she seemed happy she didn’t have to wear the sling any longer.
I got up and opened the door to the lobby. I was standing next to the woman with the elderly mother. Sotto vocce, I hummed the theme to Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day in the neighbor…
The woman patted my hand. You are not alone.