Friday, June 1, 2012

Today in the store the girl who works for the restaurant in Mundo Artesanal handing out menus on the street came to work walking funny and around 11 AM eased up to the register and told Modesta that she was bleeding bad and thought she lost the baby. Modesta and Miriam conferred for a minute and hollered, “¿DUVALL, tu tienes la guaguita hoy?” They helped hold her up while I drove the guaguita to the door, she got in and she and I drove off to her doctor on the other side of the river. After I hit one bump going kind of fast I asked her if I should drive smooth or fast and she said smooth, so I eased over everything after that. I drove down Meriño to the Malecón and found that the riverbound lanes were backed up all the way to Quimbambas waiting for a cruise ship to offload its passengers so I U-turned at the base of Meriño and wrong-wayed it back to Isabel la Catolica at about 2 mph with my flashers on and we eventually got down to the Puente Flotante fine and crossed the river. I almost hit the same pothole I hit the other night bringing Miriam to Avenida España to make out and when I missed it the girl and I both said, “whew”. She pointed out the clinic after a couple more turns and I parked in front and went around and opened her door. There was a wide deep broken gutter between the guaguita and the sidewalk and when I asked her if I could carry her she nodded her head weakly. It’d been a long time since I picked a girl up out of a car and carried her into a hospital, maybe never. I carried her in and down the hall where a seated nurse said to go back to the first door and I did and I opened it with my foot and laid the girl as gently as I could on the bed there. She was crying softly and I held her hand and stroked her forehead while watery blood soaked its way across the mattress. The nurse came in and asked her some questions and called Dr. Castro, who was the girl’s physician, and left. I offered the girl my cell phone and she accepted since she had no minutes and when her boyfriend answered she wailed, “Oh, Poppy, ¿Donde tu estás? ¡Ven acá!” in an agonized tone that I have only heard from women’s throats at Dominican funerals. Then she called her priest and spoke with him for a minute or two in Haitian Creole. The doctor showed up just finishing off an empanada and went to wash up, I presume. The nurse came back in snapping on a pair of latex gloves and I asked if I should stay. The girl said no that her guy was on the way, I asked again and she said that he was really on the way and I left. The tiled hallway floor where we had entered was still blood spattered and the passenger side door to the guaguita on the street was still wide open. My pant legs were blood soaked to the knees and there was a puddle of blood on the seat.
            The girl was 3 months along and had had a recent sonogram that suggested there were things wrong. She had been given two pills to help her, one to swallow and one to insert. She had started to bleed shortly thereafter. She was never told that the pills were meant to abort the baby. Later I learned that her name was Rosa. Two months later she was fired from the restaurant.

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