Soul2Soul Blog

Stranded in Atlanta

–”That’s not right.
–What is happening?
–They don’t want to give me a ticket.
–You seem very frustrated.
–Yes, I am. I flew across the whole country and now I am stuck in Atlanta. I am going to Savannah.
–How long have you been here?
–Since yesterday night.
–Did that ever happened to you?
–I don’t know. Something is not right. I am a scientist, I should know. How can I cross the whole country without a plan? I think I have an uncle here, his wife just died… I hope to see my mother… I am afraid to call them. What will they think?… Normally I don’t make mistakes. I made one, my marriage. But I got divorced.
–Whatever you choose to do, we will make sure you are safe.
–I really appreciate your intention. I think I have a son here…and also a daughter. Is there a doctor around? I would like something that calms me down…. Look at this woman there, in blue; I have seen her before… Maybe it would be a good thing for me to stay here for a while… Could I sleep here tonight?”

As I passed through the automatic sliding doors, I had discovered Eunice, in her wheel-chair, facing the nurses’ station. Worried and impatient, she was trying to get the workers’ attention. They were focused on the change of shift, getting ready to go home. I was available to listen. Eunice grew up in Georgia. She speaks sometimes of going back there. For three or four years, this ground floor has been her home. The large circular hall, surrounded by bedroom doors seems often empty. An indoor tree grows inside a wide three stories well. It is topped by a glass dome that displays the changing colors of the San Francisco skies. The architects created a modern space opposite to the Old-Folks-Home cliché. Eunice sits there during the day, reading the paper, sipping coffee, listening to the piano players or engaged in group activities. During our conversation, we were surrounded by people, including me, who have known Eunice for years. In between phrases, she was thinking, silent. I was looking into her open eyes. What was she seeing? Who was I? On what plane were we?

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