A stranger’s solicitude sprung a hospital appointment from its shabby mould when blood tests were ordered and we moved to a new waiting room where fatigue meshed with a hundred patients’ thrum, the tele on, and speakers summoning next in line.
Noise undoes me. One moment I hung on, faint and flagging, yes, but compos mentis, next I was a poppet on a blanket in a corner with a buzz of blow flies for a crown. All I wanted was to pull perception in and wait my turn. No getting away though: I was all ear. In this room where patience and anxiety braid, a woman rose. About to be relieved from biding time she offered me her ticket (166) and took mine (218). Soon blood was taken in a quiet booth, and brain found bearings.
One person’s gracious gesture, her compassion, gave everybody’s plight and foremost mine a guarding sheen, like the gilded seam in a Japanese ceramic bowl that mends and marks, even celebrates, an imperfection. I could only raise a hand in thanks. My gratitude has bells on.