Hidden Gems Friday: The Man From Bogota

So I decided that to get myself to write more I will start doing a Hidden Gems Friday on (get this) a Friday (wow mind blown). So why Hidden Gems? Well I have found through all my discovering and healing I started to collect. Collect ideas, thoughts, or quotes that helped build not only me but this whole project.  I figured that maybe they could help others somehow--even you (dear reader) for maybe you found your way to this site because of pain you are dealing with right now and are looking for some kind of inspiration or comforting words. I figured these hidden gems should not be hidden anymore.

 

I found this one years ago  in a creative writing class I took on a whim (it was not at all a part of my major, but let's be honest I had no idea what my major was for years). It was a random short story our teacher had us read. It was scanned on his computer upside down because the only copy he had of it was in a book. I like that thought. That it was kind of hidden. But it made me stop, grab and tuck it away for a rainy day in my old dusty "library." Little did I know how many times I would really need it.

Read on:

The Man From Bogota

The police and emergency service people fail to make a dent. The voice of the pleading spouse does not have the hoped-for effect. The woman remains on the ledge – though not, she threatens, for long.

I imagine that I am the one who must talk the woman down. I see it, and it happens like this.

I tell the woman about a man in Bogota. He was a wealthy man, an industrialist who was kidnapped and held for ransom. It was not a TV drama; his wife could not call the bank and, in twenty-four hours, have one million dollars. It took months. The man had a heart condition, and the kidnappers had to keep the man alive.

Listen to this, I tell the woman on the ledge. His captors made him quit smoking. They changed his diet and made him exercise every day. They held him that way for three months.

When the ransom was paid and the man was released, his doctor looked him over. He found the man to be in excellent health. I tell the women what the doctor said then- that the kidnap was the best thing to happen to that man.

Maybe this is not a come-down-from-the-ledge story. But I tell it with the thought that the woman on the ledge will ask herself a question, the question that occurred to that man in Bogota. He wondered how we know that what happens to us isn’t good.

-AMY HEMPEL