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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

America the Loveless

By Joyce Benedict

The airport was filled with people as far as the eye could see. I was waiting in line to check in for a flight to Florida. People were pouring into the busy terminal from outside entrances. Hallways were spilling forth passengers from incoming flights.

A people watcher, I spend time studying faces and watching human behavior. What were all these people’s lives about? Were any truly happy? Where were they coming from? Never ceased being awed by how many people there are in the world!

My flight check-in line had stagnated due to a problem up front. Sighing at what promised to be a long wait, my attention was drawn to doors that suddenly swung open to the left of the counter where I was waiting to check in.

People swarmed hurriedly into the terminal. At once I observed two men who were semi-dragging, semi-carrying a young woman between them. She was dazed, head drooping.

They were decidedly unconcerned about her condition. I wasn’t. Was she sick? Drugged? Amidst the swarms of people my eyes remained focused on the three of them.

She was dragged across the terminal and by a column laid down on the cold, marble floor. She wasn’t moving. One male dashed through a doorway, the other leaned nonchalantly against the column reading a magazine. I was appalled!

He had a coat under his arm. Couldn’t he put it under her head? Cover her? Hundreds of people filed by her. There were many furtive glances. Some stopped to look but for a nanosecond, continuing their journey to somewhere.

The scene was bizarre. Thousands in the terminal and no one stopped to ask the man what was wrong? I couldn’t ignore the situation any longer. I walked across the terminal and knelt down beside the inert woman putting my hand on her arm. I looked up to the unconcerned man.

“What is wrong with her?”

“The bitch had too much to drink,” was his nonchalant reply.

“Can’t you put your coat under her head or cover her up”?

“My friend is getting our car. We’ll be out with her in a few minutes.”

I said a soft prayer for her safety and walked back to my place in line where the lady behind me had watched my suitcase.

My eyes once again swept the terminal. I saw the man had returned and both half dragged their unhappy, inert burden out the door. Wonder how many of those who saw her lying on the cold, marble floor attended church? How many who had seen her as they rushed by, if asked later, “do you consider yourself a good Christian,” would have answered, “Yes.”

Boarding the plane, I still hoped the young woman was going to be all right. What will they do to her? Where will they take her? Not a frequent flyer, the scene had been disquieting.

I mused as the engines revved and I fastened my seat belt, no wonder Mother Theresa stated that of all the countries she visited, America was the most loveless.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Good story, well-told, Joyce. Thank you for reminding us to be good Samaritans. I have often had a chance, here in my senior residence, to respond to a personal emergency call bell that sounds in the hall.You wouldn't believe how many people just don't want to become involved, so don't respond.

With the attitude of the man who called her 'bitch' I doubt that life for this poor woman was going to get better.

It is appalling that in the richest country in the world there is so much cruelty and lack of compassion. What have we become?

Truly sad story. We live in a nation of emotional and moral zombies.

I was afraid your were a setup and your suitcase would be gone when you got back! Or could it have been a mannequin for a joke?
Well, good writing of a scary story.

Your experience makes me sad, too, but I still have hope because around here I still see many good Samaritans. I must admit, however, that our younger generation does not appear to have the same concern and compassion. Perhaps some of it is due to their impersonal interactions on the internet and on their cell phones.

I have been on the other side of this type of situation. I fell, when walking my dog and when I finally sat up, I saw a woman at a doorway. I asked her to call my husband, and she replied that she considered coming out to see about me but was afraid I was a "street person". Thanks alot, lady.

I wouldn't have known what to do in that case, but I sure would have wanted to address his comment about her being a "bitch." But what do you say on that? Good grief. What a sorry excuse for him as a person.

Story only begun. What if the
woman was not drunk but drugged
and kidnapped. There's a novel
waiting to be written.

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