Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Blur

The woman...she sat across from me in the medical center's waiting room.

I noticed...her jewelery, her tan, her shoes and then her arm.

Were those bruises? Was it dirt?

And then it hit me -- a number embedded on her delicate, tanned skin.

Embedded on the outside of the arm...for all to see.

Numbers -- not so legible, but never truly fading.

A blur.

A memory, in fact a nightmare of something too difficult to comprehend.

My heart clenched.

My heart clenches each time it sees one of these numbers, one of these blurs.

Those times are becoming much more infrequent.

She passed close by and asked me a question. I answered, then grasped her arm and told her how I was taken aback...by that number. I told her I hadn't been sure it was a number--

I was used to numbers on the inside of an arm, more hidden.

I told her it seemed like a blur.

I asked her where she'd been.

"Where everyone was -- Auschwitz."

"You must've been young."

"I was. But I lived through it and I went on with my life."

"Thank G-d for that," I told her.

That number. A blur to me. Certainly not a blur to her.