Friday, January 8, 2010

The Sad Room

I had the experience today of entering a room which was filled with tangible sadness. As the woman buzzed the security gate and we went through it, the sadness hit me in the face, in the chest, below the ankles, almost forcing me back into the street. It was hard to breathe in there, the air was so thick with lost innocence. It was a room that had obviously been designed to be comforting. But it wasn't.

It was a big room, with comfortable-ish looking chairs set all around it, a bit like a school staff room, or maybe even for a rather large tea party. Except there were no chattering people. The carpet seemed to absorb even the city sounds from the street outside. It was eerily quiet, save for the muffled sound of the woman in the office leading off the room, speaking on the telephone.

At the end of the room stood a flight of six stairs that looked like something young debutantes could be led down in their white frocks on the arms of their proud fathers. The stairs led up to a blue sliding door which was tightly shut, listlessly looking over the room.

A woman and her daughter sat in one corner talking quietly about the magazine the daughter was reading. On the other side of the carpet sat a lone woman, looking busy, riffling through some papers on her lap, while talking on her phone. Still it was silent.

We were there for five minutes at most, our business here was short. Others though, presumably, who were here for the core service this place offers, would be here for longer, possibly need to come back again, into this sad, draining place.

I am a true believer in, and fighter for Pro Choice. I think as women and, especially, young girls living in the world we live in, it is vital that safe abortions are freely available to those who wish to have them but, shoo, abortion clinics are sad, sad places.

Who would've thought it was possible to get breathable sadness?


Miranda said...

shoo, but you can write!

allie said...

"Breathable sadness"
I guess if you're going to find it anywhere, you will find it there.

I had a friend who took the 'giving the child up for adoption' route.
She experienced another kind of "breathable sadness" for decades.

This tale has a happy ending though: she rediscovered her child and three ready made grandchildren 30-something years down the line and they are all happy family now.

Meriel said...

i can feel the sadness through your words. its overwhelming.

Bobby said...

Do you think you'd have though "Woah, sad! So so so sad!" if you'd walked into the room and didn't know it was the waiting room of an abortion clinic? Personallay I doubt it. I think you probably decided before you walked in that because of its it was going to be a sombre place.

Shiny said...

Miranda - thank you! Really.

Allie - wow, what an amazing story!

Meriel - that's exactly what it was... completely overwhelming.

Bobby - good question. I'm not sure, really , because I didn't expect the sadness. Obviously I wasn't expecting a funfair atmosphere but I think you'd have to be pretty much dead NOT to feel the emotion there, regardless of whether you knew what it was or not