It was on this day:
The rain was insane. I had two sweaters on and wet hair even with my umbrella. My pants were soaked and I was feeling really sorry for myself when I took all these pictures on my way to work.
I got off the bus downtown, went to one of my two favorite coffee shops for a Shot In The Dark to warm up my belly and my spirits. The day before was also this rainy and I was a real dark cloud myself around the tattoo shop.
When I left I said “See you tomorrow and I promise I’ll have a better attitude.” And I meant it. I was determined, rain, grey and all to be in an awesome mood and work hard all day.
So I got my coffee, had some cute banter with the girls there about how slow it was going to be and the music they were playing, and then went out in the rain again.
There was nobody around. I mean NOBODY. Victoria looked like a ghost town. Everything was grey, the rain was so loud on my umbrella it was all I could hear. There was a mist hovering around everything and did I say everything was grey? Because that’s what stands out the most.
I got to about here.
Well it’s not quite there but near there is a maritime museum. I got there and out of the corner of my eye I saw a hobo laying on the ground sleeping near the museum.
That’s not quite right.
A man in a suit sleeping…
no, a man in a suit laying on the ground in the rain.
A man in a suit laying on the ground and his umbrella is over there.
A man in a suit laying on the ground. He’s old and his toupee is off his head.
His mouth is open.
A dead man.
Is that a dead man?
Did he fall?
Is he dead?
Am I looking at a dead person?
OH FUCK I have to do something.
What do I do?
Is there anybody else around?
Nobody is around, it’s my job to do something.
What do people do? In movies they run over. I will run over.
I ran over.
“Oh my god are you okay?”
He didn’t answer and his eyes were open and rolled back in his head. And his mouth was open and he moaned a bit and I knew he wasn’t a dead guy anymore and I had to HELP but how?
“Stay here I’ll be right back”
And I ran. I left him lying on his back in the pouring rain in his suit with his hair off. And I have to write that it was almost a comical pose he was in, it kind of looked like he either tried to pull a Mary Poppins with his umbrella and failed, or he was laying on the ground and got so surprised at something that his hair flew straight up like a cartoon.
I can say this because he ended up being okay.
So at this point I was just full of adrenaline and knowing I had to call an ambulance.
Anyway so I ran to my other favorite coffee shop that is near the maritime museum. I flew in the back entrance and found the manager.
I spit out something like “I found a man and he’s lying out there can you call someone call an ambulance please he’s still there he’s lying out there in the rain and I found him and I don’t know what to do can you use the phone now and call someone?”
And she handed me her cell phone. Because nobody wants to be the person who does something it seems. I didn’t either, that’s why I ran for help.
At that second the owner came in and I said the same kind of babble to him and my hands were shaking so much and he just looked at the coffee I had in my hand from his competition and said “What are you drinking, anyway?”
I yelled in frustration and then he realized what I said and I was like “I don’t know what to do, can you please just help me?” and he came with me into the rain. I had that cellphone in my pocket and I was so flustered I couldn’t figure out how to use it.
We got back to the man who was in the same position I left him in, just soaking wet on his back. A guy in brown paint-spattered Carhart overalls called out from across the street that he had called 911 and someone was on the way. So we kneeled down beside the man who was starting to wake up, telling him someone was on the way and stay where he is.
A young man of around 20 showed up asking if he could do anything. We told him someone called an ambulance and it’s okay, but he stayed anyway to make sure.
The man on the sidewalk started to wake up and say some stuff I couldn’t understand. I don’t think he spoke very much English, he was a Chinese man and didn’t seem to know what we were saying. He sat up a bit and we saw all the blood on the sidewalk from his head. He must have fallen and hit his head pretty freaking hard.
The first thing he did was reach for his hair and try and put it on over the giant gash on his head.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Said the young guy standing behind us.
“You have a cut on your head, don’t put your hair on yet.” I said, slowly, shaking my head no.
“Let me help you with that.” Said the coffee shop owner.
I thought about this later, and about how funny it is, us two younger people didn’t really understand the humiliation of having a strip of tape on your bald head showing, and your hair lying beside you on the sidewalk.
So there we sat, holding our umbrellas over him, although he was already soaked, waiting for maybe ten minutes that felt like forever. I thought, what if he was dying and they took ten minutes? That’s a really long time.
He wanted to stand up and we helped him. Then he wanted to leave, saying “Okay. I go there.” And pointing down the street. We were all like “Nooooo, you should stay, wait for the ambulance, your head is bleeding.”
It was a battle of wills but he was still confused enough to just stand there while we talked to him about his bleeding head.
Anyway it’s an anticlimactic story, the paramedics showed up and I told one that he was bleeding under his hair, and then I left before they got him into the ambulance and I went to work, stopping on the way to give the coffee shop manager back her unused phone and to say thank you.
Of course this entire scenario had nothing to do with me, like, I wasn’t the victim or the hero or anything. I was just there. But it really scared me. And this is my blog so it is all about me. (haha) I just had to get this image of a grey empty rainy landscape with him just lying there on the ground like a corpse out of my head and into yours.