I was minding my own business, waiting behind a woman at the automated teller at the post office, when her phone rang. Despite the fact she was in mid-transcation and there were several people behind her, she answered the call.
"Thank you so much for calling," she said, loudly, her voice echoing in the small room. "Yes. It's terrible. She has a sore down there. Right. A boil. Or something. Something bad."
Her hand hovered over the instructions for mailing her parcel. Finally, she made a choice.
"Well, yes," she said into the phone. "It hurts her. Uh-huh. Yes. Oozing. Yes."
Her hand hovered again, one banana, two banana. I leaned forward, getting closer. But she didn't seem to notice or mind.
"She did admit to having sex the night before. So right. It could be something. Bad. She's only 16 and we need to make sure--right. Right."
She punched away at the screen. Things started happening with her purchase.
"But we need to get it checked. Of course. Thank you so much for calling. Right."
She was apparently transferred to someone else, and during the wait, she finally managed to print out her postage and get the hell out of the line.
But really. The world. We don't use the postal workers any more. We go to the automated teller. We don't go home to the privacy of our own homes to make calls about our teenaged girl's STDs. No, we talk about them in front of 8 strangers.
The woman never acknowledged us behind her or recognized that what she was doing was anything but normal. Maybe it was. But even though she spilled her human life into a public room, I felt more isolated from human interaction and more estranged. A curious thing.
Causes Jessica Inclan Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org