Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Un Momento..."

I was out late one night and prepared for bed after eleven. As I was brushing my teeth, the phone rang for a housecall in Torrance, twenty miles distant.

Traffic was no problem, and Google maps deposited me at the correct address which turned out to be a massive apartment complex behind high walls. Now and then I drove past a gate with no guard and no evidence that it was the correct entrance. I phoned.

The patient’s husband answered. He was Italian and spoke rudimentary English, and his efforts to direct me were incomprehensible.

“Un momento…” There followed several minutes of silence. Just before I decided he had hung up, he came on the line and resumed his unintelligible instructions. Then my headlights illuminated a distant figure in the middle of the deserted street waving a flashlight.

He guided me to a gate, punched the code to open it, and directed me to visitor’s parking. I followed him through a maze of sidewalks to the correct building. After I cared for his wife, he guided me back to my car.

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