The woman who took me back to the double bank of dingy stalls for the urine sample was as pallid and mechanical as the others, and I remember wondering, What is wrong with all these people? It was downright funereal. In the course of writing this piece, I asked my friend [who had come with the author] to recall our trek to that clinic, an event that she had all but forgotten. We had not discussed it in 30 years, and yet she remembers the place as “somber, sad, and scary,” describing it as “cold, sterile, and unfeeling”.
With a flat affect, the dreary woman informed me that my pregnancy test was negative. Relieved, I hurried back to my friend, who had been left in that dreadful waiting room, and we flew out of there into the fresh air.
My poor friend was upset. “I am never going back to a place like that ever again!” I finally realized what those women were there for, and the pall of death was real.
— Patrick Madrid, Surprised by Life (Manchester, New Hampshire: Sophia Institute Press, 2017) 90 – 91
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