Last week I took Sis to the hospital for a Barium Swallow test. We had just settled into the waiting room when an elderly woman with a cane came in the door. She had to go around Sis’s wheelchair to get to the check-in window.
“Am I at the right place?” she asked no one in particular.
“Can I help you?” the woman behind the window said.
I stood up to get a magazine and noticed that the newspaper for that day was in the magazine rack.
Woohoo! I’d left my paper in the car.
The cover story was about the guy they’d caught the day before. I’d heard it on the late night news. He had raped four dozen women and killed a dozen more in the 70’s. His newly-obtained DNA had matched up with the killer’s DNA. At 72 years old, he had been caught. The headlines read “Golden State Killer.”
The old woman sat down two seats away from me. She glanced over and saw the headlines.
“They killed the Golden State Warriors?” she said. “All of them?”
I turned to the elderly woman and remembered that she’d just told the check-in woman that she was almost 100.
“No, the Golden State Killer,” I said, “the guy who killed people back in the 70’s.”
“He’s 70?” she asked.
“Actually, he’s 72,” I said.
“So the Warriors are okay?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said. “He didn’t kill the basketball team.”
“Where did he do it?” she asked in a loud voice.
“He started in Sacramento and moved down the state,” I said. “Santa Barbara, too.”
“He moved to Santa Barbara?” she asked.
A man waiting with his wife joined in the conversation.
“He used to be a police officer,” the man said, “right?”
“He killed a police officer?” the old woman asked.
“No,” I said to the old woman. “Yes,” I said to the man.
I turned to page two of the story.
“Here’s a list of all the crimes he committed,” I said.
“That’s a list of the victims’ names?” the old woman asked.
“No,” I said. “No victims’ names.”
“I feel bad for the victims!” the check-in woman called through her window. “Those people had closure, and now their wounds will be reopened.”
Then the technician called for my sister. I stood up to push her wheelchair through the door, thinking none of the victims had closure and most of the ones still living would be happy that the guy had finally been caught.
“When will I get called?” the old woman asked no one in particular.
“What was that all about?” the technician said when we were in the exam room.
“The Golden State killer,” I said. “They caught him yesterday.”
“Who?” she said.
“The guy who raped and killed people in the 70’s,” I said. “They got his DNA, and it was a match.”
“Oh,” she said. “I live in my own little bubble.”
Sadly, I have noticed that most people live in their own little bubbles, except the old woman who was worried about her basketball team. Too bad she only heard every other word anyone said. She had her own special bubble of hearing loss and/or age-related memory loss. But you’ve got to give her credit.
She’s still walking around this earth discussing current events.