A random, wild-eyed, elderly woman came running in to my office today, and right up to my desk. Before I could ask how I could help her, she started croaking at the top of her voice, “Granite building! Where is the Granite building?!”
I told her I wasn’t sure, but I’d be happy to look it up for her. She croaked, “Granite building!” a couple more times while I googled, tapping her foot impatiently.
“Where is it?” She demanded.
“I’m lookin’,” I said, looking. “Is there an office you’re trying to get to in the building?”
“My doctor,” she said. “And that stupid girl told me he was in the Granite building.”
“I’m not finding any buildings called Granite–can you help me with any other details?”
“It’s called the Granite Building! And it’s over there,” she flapped her hand out to her left.
“Okay, I’m not finding anything called the Granite Building. Do you have your doctor’s name, and then I can look up his address for you?”
She made a sound like a teakettle starting to boil, pumped her tiny fists of rage up and down at her hips and bobbed up and down on her knees. “I have his address,” she yawped. “I know his address! I just need to know which one is the Granite building!”
And with that, she stomped out of my building, into the car waiting for her.
Me? I laughed (after making sure she wasn’t the one driving, and that the driver looked more capable of actually making it anywhere.)
When I was a candy striper, there was a lady in the geriatric ward named Mrs. Young. Mrs. Young was on oxygen, and frequently felt that she could not breathe. I would be walking down the hall, pushing my little cart, and I would hear, “I cain’t breathe! hhuuuuuuuuuurk! I cain’t breathe!”
I would go in and pat her hand and say, “Mrs. Young? Can you talk?”
And she would say, “Why, yes.”
And I would say, “Then you can breathe. Because you can’t talk, if you can’t breathe.”
And she would focus her eyes on me suspiciously, then say. “Fine.”
I would leave, and as I would be going out the door she would yell, “ICE CREEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAM! ICE CREEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAM!”
One or the other, all day long. “I cain’t breathe!” or “Ice cream!”
Granite Building Lady reminded me of Mrs. Young.