Monday, January 3, 2011

Thinking Out Loud

By Gerard Meister

My constant readers know of my high regard for women. And I speak of an assembly of pertinent facts: they are both the “givers - of - life” and the keepers of the nest, while at the same time manage to weave into the warp and woof of the fabric of society some of their God given sensitivity into all of our lives, to wit:

My wife and I now use wheel chairs to get through the airport. Customarily, my wife receives a female attendant for the chair and I a male. This time I received a female attendant and my wife a male. While it is true that my wife has less ambulatory and balance problems than I do, the difference of being in a woman’s hands as opposed to the hands of a male are significant, in that the man stands by and watches as you progress through the TSA gauntlet, while the woman seeks to help proactively. For example, my attendant helped me take my shoes off – no mean feat while balanced on a cane; then she slid over a few bins and helped me off with my jacket and packed the bins for me; then walked around the metal detector with my cane so I needed only one step to grasp my cane (phew); then she brought me a chair to wait for the bins to come and helped with getting my shoes back on and getting my stuff together. In other words dear reader, she “mothered” me.

Then there was this: I watch the television show “Cops” quite often. I like the show because it is unrehearsed and save for the camera on the scene, the director lets things unfold without his/her imprint on the action. In this one segment, a young mother and father were caught while in their car buying heroin from a sidewalk drug dealer. This with their son – toddler of about 18 months – strapped into a car seat. The parents, particularly the mother, started crying as they were cuffed and dragged from the vehicle. The baby seeing his mother in tears started to whimper and a female officer on the scene quickly unstrapped the child and cradled him to her chest. The little boy immediately put his arm around the officer’s neck and stopped crying. Clearly, he knew instinctively that he was safe; he was being “mothered.”

Shortly, child protective attendants came on the scene and a young female officer smilingly took the little boy from the policewoman who protested by kicking and flailing his arms. “He’ll be fine,” she said as she turned to walk away and the little boy began to cry.

Now, the scene shifts back to the police officer, a young, blond woman probably in her mid-thirties seated in the front passenger seat of her patrol car. She is alone; her partner is nowhere to be seen. The director, in a Scorcese type move, keeps the camera out of sight and shoots the policewoman through the driver’s side window as she dissolves into shoulder-heaving sobs (we cannot hear her), covers both her eyes with the palms of her hands and the sobbing intensifies – no sound – but the shoulders heaving ever higher as the scene fades to black; not a sound from the narrator – no background noise, except for the tears flowing softly down my wife’s and my cheeks.

Click on Gerard Meister for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

No comments:

Post a Comment