It Followed Me Home

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01/12/2006

Bronx, NY, NY

Neighborhood: Bronx, Outer Boroughs

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Oh man, he's going to die!

I live 100 feet from Interstate 95 and from my living room window have an unobstructed view of this sea of vehicles. Having lived here many years the sounds of impending trouble are familiar. So when the horns started blaring it was a cue to look out the window and I did so, just in time to see a person rocket thirty feet into the air. This is not an exaggeration: he flew higher than the overhead signs. I am out the door, across the street and over the wall onto the highway in less than thirty seconds. Traffic in both directions is totally stopped.

But where is rocket man, he isn't on the pavement. I lay down and look under the cars and he isn't there either. Sitting on the hood of his car in the fast lane, cradling his head in his hands is the poor soul who struck the missing victim.

When I ask, where did he go, the driver stretches out his left arm and wordlessly points at the ground on the other side of the center divider.

There he is, the most damaged human being that I have ever seen, who was still alive.

A quick survey shows a man laying on his back, face up... left arm nearly amputated, held on by a piece of flesh the diameter of a pencil. Right leg folded beneath his back in a manner that would make a contortionist jealous. Mouth overflowing with that thick blood that means the end is near. I kneel down beside him...time to get to work. You are not supposed to move a victims head but in this case if I don't he's gonna drown in his own blood.

Lifting and turning his skull I fell the many pieces it's been busted into grating against each other,but succeed in draining the blood which is now flowing freely from his mouth. The smell of his blood is garnished with alcohol, now I know why he was walking along the center divider of the highway. Score another one for John Barleycorn! His eyes and mine are inches apart and I realize he's fully aware of the situation. He's physically destroyed but his reasoning is intact.»

Enter the rubbernecking asshole with, "Oh man he's going to die."

When rocket man hears this, I watch his eyes as the disbelief turned to fear.

Easy buddy, take it easy.

I wasn't gonna bullshit him during the last seconds of his life with the usual, "You're going to be all right." I had too much respect for his situation to do that. I couldn't do anything to help him live but god damn it, I was gonna give him dignity. The only thing he can move is his eyes, so I position my face to block his vision of everything but me. His last view of life was not going to be a gawking crowd of ghoulish bystanders whoses immediate entertainment was watching him die! Intently staring into his eyes I witness his pupils dilate and life depart.

The cops arrive.

"Who are you." Fire department.

"Are you involved?"

No.

"OK we got it."

Ask anyone about their most intimate human contact and they may speak of love or perhaps sex.

Ask me and I'll tell you about a broken man on Interstate 95.

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