Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's important to remember

I've been feeling pretty blue lately and last night I was reminded to count my blessings.

I went to the theater (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) with my friend, Barb. Beforehand we had a very nice dinner at a new restaurant -- at least new to us -- called Tamarind. And yet my mood remained bleak. I was fixating on how worried I am about my job, I felt superfat, I am disturbed about the issues with my sisters. I just couldn't shake the blues. Could. Not. Shake. Them.

Got off the train near my home at 11:00 PM. There were four of us, altogether, getting off at this stop. None of us knew one another. But soon we were operating as one.

There was a man of about 35, curled around the lamp post, on his side in a fetal position. There was an obviously bleeding cut on his head, above his eye. He smelled strongly of booze.

I kept walking but I had a plan. I knew my cell was dead -- I received a text from my oldest friend while riding the train and my phone did that telltale beep. But I knew I'd be in my living room within minutes and would alert the police to his dilemma.

But I heard a lot of conversation behind me. The other three had circled the man, trying to help him up. "Are you OK?" "Is there anyone you want us to call?" "Do you know where you are?"

I stopped to watch. If the three of them had it covered, I wouldn't bother the police. But I wasn't confident they did. The man still sounded drunk, or at the very least woozy, and kept refusing their help. He was on his feet, but now he was swaying a bit.

I headed on over and poked my nose in. I pointed out that I couldn't call the police myself but that one of them should because he was weaving and might end up falling onto the tracks. He didn't hear me, even though I in no way lowered my voice.

The other woman in our sober quartet of Samaritans touched my arm and nodded. "You're right." Then she turned to the men and said, "Let's get him down the stairs." She was indicating the other end of the platform, opposite from where I needed to go, chosen because it was so well lit and so far away from the tracks and danger.

I was satisfied that they had it under control and walked down my opposite set of stairs to my home.

Had this poor man been beaten, robbed and left on the still-icy platform? Did he get that cut on his face when he fell, or did someone punch him? How long had he been laying there? He looked so vulnerable, wrapped around that street lamp.

I am lucky. I am healthy and solvent and live in a town where all of us considered the best way to help. That's a lot, really. It's important to remember my blessings.


  1. nod, we could be a lot worse off than we are. glad he was guided to a less risky place.

  2. I would have freaked out.

  3. Those are important things to remember. As well as that you, as well as your fellow Chicagoans, didn't give a second thought to helping a stranger in distress.


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