by special guest blogger Michael Fiorillo
Yesterday, as I sat in the waiting room of a hospital radiology center, waiting to get an MRI for an injured knee, I observed the following:
Joining me in the waiting room was a typical assortment of New Yorkers, including two elderly black women and the three year-old grandson of one of them, Justice (yes, that was his name).
Justice was curious and energetic, and soaked up most of the attention in the room, as three year-olds are prone to do.
At one point, a gentleman, tall, white and in late middle age, started engaging with the child. After conversing for a few minutes, the boy asked the man if he was a doctor. He answered, “No, I’m a policeman.” Justice, kneeling at the foot of the man, gazed big-eyed almost straight up at the face looming above him, paused for half a beat, and asked in toddler voice, “Are you going to kill me?”
The man did not react physically, but responded with surprise and hurt in his voice, and said, “No, policemen are here to help you.” He then reached down, shook the boy’s hand and walked out.
All the other adults in the room kept their eyes averted, acknowledging nothing…