I have just visited my acupuncturist whose waiting room is nearly always full. However, today one woman occupied it. Rang the bell for entry and the small rotund figure waddled her way to the door. In this clinic, the clients let each other in. From the moment, she opened the door we were engaged in conversation, well it was more as if she did the talking and I chipped in the odd word or two. I now know where she lives, how old she is, how many children she has had. Of the six boys, I know which one is best and which is worst. I know that she worked in some kitchen for nigh on forty years and that a month ago she had a fall and has not been the same since. Her legs were swollen and her arm and hand remain bruised. Despite a little self-pity, she seemed content and at times in good humour. She had a lovely chuckle type laugh. Her accent was not of this area and she tended to engulf some of her words within her. She was from farther south. This she told me. Fernando appeared to take her to the treatment room. Five minutes had elapsed from my entering the waiting room to the point of her collection.
As a writer, I realise that these chance, yet rich full of life experiences, provide cargo for my ships of words. She was a down to earth gem, and I sincerely hope that she recovers and becomes free of pain. She will remain in my mind, and will more than likely feature in my musings. I believe that these encounters are meant to be. Normally that waiting room would have been brimming with people and had that been the case today we may not have exchanged the words that we did. She shared, we shared a tale of woe, some humour and some smiles, albeit briefly. I thanked her for the conversation and she seemed surprised, surprised that someone had actually listened to the words that she uttered and responded to them. She appeared genuinely touched. The last I saw of her was her smile blended with a slightly contorted expression of pain from each step that she took. As I wrote this earlier, I could still her tones form her treatment room. With her booming voice, I calculated that she had talked for a good ten minutes in there before the peace and harmony of the oriental music took over. I love recalling chance meetings such as this. They are a rich source of material for the library of my mind.