Over the weekend I encountered opposing sides of the human experience, all within 12 hours between them. First, a jumper, in Guatemala City’s most coveted suicide spot: The Incense Bridge (Puente El Incienso) was hanging on to a pole, preparing to jump, or considering whether or not to follow through. Duffgirl and I were driving by when this happened within seconds.
It was raining.
She called the fire department.
We saw an ambulance speeding by.
We failed to know if they could save him from himself.
The next morning I joined the volunteer organization that I’m a part of, to visit the Roosevelt Hospital, one of the city’s main public hospitals. I saw several newborn babies and their mothers, before their fathers were allowed to meet them (a new burocratic procedure to prevent child theft). One of the babies had been born 10 hours before, another was fresh out of her mom’s womb (saw both of them enjoying their first moments together, then falling asleep within minutes, next to each other).
I feel grateful (in a sad kind of way) that I was there to witness new life, hours after I almost witnessed someone letting go of their existence… within seconds.