Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Nov. 22
- Community Blog
- Downtown Twilight
The End of the World
Suddenly a little girl’s cry could be heard throughout the Mission Valley branch of the San Diego Public Library.
At first I ignored it. Just some kid crying.
However, it kept getting louder and more intense.
Finally I looked over. Standing in front of her mom, who was crouched down consoling her, the girl was obviously nursing a skinned knee.
She was probably just a few months out of “toddlerhood” meaning now she was able to walk with skill. Well, maybe not all that skillfully, since she’d just fallen down and hurt herself.
One of the first thoughts I'd had was “shut up! It’s not the end of the world”. Because she just kept on howling and howling, inconsolably!
One of the library employees came over and offered some assistance. Then the mother was gingerly applying a colorful plastic bandage.
Yet the little girl kept on loudly bawling her little eyes out. Finally Mom took her into the restroom despite the girl’s protests of “I don’t wanna [unintelligible through the wailing]”.
Now my heart began to melt. Her mother had showed such concern, and her little pink-skirted daughter was obviously in a great deal of distress.
Suddenly I realized: Yes, it IS the end of the world.
It was the end of the world for that little girl. I know that, because I now remembered skinning my own knee as a little boy. The pain. The sudden stopping of all that is fun. The upset feeling. The crying. The inconsolability.
True, our Moms put bandages on our knees and offer healing kisses, but it’s still an ordeal. Even days afterward that scab is gonna still hurt, and there’s not much worse then falling again on the same spot you skinned previously.
As I left the library later on, mom and daughter were in the parking lot. The girl was still crying, and Mom was bent over her with a look of empathy and was trying to soothe her with words.
Poor little girl… may the world start up again for you once again.