Vantage Point

By Donna Steiner

September 10, 2018

Vantage Point

Some boys found a little brown bat in the parking lot outside the surgeon's office. Delicate as a tea bag, they poked it with a stick, kicked it.

Every day patients park their cars, head into the doctors’ offices. From my apartment I look down at their careful walks up the ramp, clutching papers, insurance cards. Sometimes a spouse or friend drives them, then that person waits in the car.

I’ve wanted to tap on the windows of those chaperones, maybe on a day when they keep the engine running because it’s cold out. I could tell them about the unfolded, crooked Dracula wing of the bat, its soft body. Or invite them upstairs for tea, show them where to sit, by the vent for warmth, or they could stand by the window and watch for their person. They will see how it feels up here, see the narrow corridors where the bats fly. I could explain that scientists think bats might crash more often when they rely on vision, crash less often when they listen. Precarious no matter what.

I’d want to say, that ramp gets slippery; I’d want to say, it might not be so hard to sit in the waiting room… but we all want the same thing, we’re wishing we could save one small living thing, knowing we can’t. I’ve been inside that surgeon’s office, entered alone and left alone, and the world shifts so very fast before we crash, no matter how hard we listen.

comments powered by Disqus « Back to Beautiful-Things

Newsletter Sign Up

shadow shadow