LC Aggie Sith at Hookers and Booze requested that I do a list of some sort to let people know a little about me. Of course, I have an “About Me” page that I never finished, much like all my ventures, and I did one here before, so I thought I’d do a little something different. I mean, I could write that I love dinosaurs and Circus Peanuts, but you would have had to come late to this party to not know that. So I decided to tell a story about something that happened to me when I was young which had a big impact on me and changed how I view people. I never talk about it much because when you’re young, and more impressionable, things happen that leave these huge indelible marks on you that fade with age but never really go away.
When I was barely twenty years old, I was in line at a busy store at Christmastime. I was probably third or fourth from the cashier and there were probably another four or five people behind me. There were maybe four other lanes with the same number of people in them, give or take one or two. I was standing there waiting my turn to purchase something. I have no clue today what it was, but I’m pretty certain I just wanted to buy it and go home. Suddenly I heard a loud choking sound directly behind me. I turned to see the man behind me grabbing his chest and struggling to breathe. The man looked to be in his late thirties or early forties, blonde, had on a blue chambray shirt and there was a growing wet stain on the front of his blue jeans. I remember his eyes were going “blank” and he was whiter than any human being I had ever seen in my life. He literally folded and fell to the floor, dropping everything he had in his hands. I remember thinking to myself “OH MY GOD, HE’S HAVING A HEART ATTACK.” I dropped what I had and fell straight to my knees beside him and felt for his pulse. My hands trembled. I put an ear to his mouth and looked at his chest just like I was taught. I was mentally SCREAMING to myself inside my head the steps I had learned in school and I remember tears streaming down my face the second I reached the floor. I screamed out “CALL AN AMBULANCE!” just like you’re taught to. I felt no pulse and I knew he wasn’t breathing. I checked his airway, tilted his head and began, praying that what I was doing was right. Please God, let it be right. It seemed like I was doing it forever and I was exhausted beyond belief, beyond any exhaustion I have ever felt before or since. I was dizzy and light headed, but I knew I couldn’t stop. There were a lot of people all around and while doing compressions I’d look up several times and in between counting I said “Someone help me” frantically. But no one would. No. One. They just stared. Then this little old man, who I found out later had just come into the store, rushed over and started helping me by doing the compressions. After what seemed like an eternity, the paramedics finally arrived and took over. I scooted back out of their way and sat back on my ankles and struggled to catch my breath. I wiped the sweat and tears from my face and slowly stood and looked up from the scene on the floor to see the crowd of people standing, staring down at the man. And I felt this huge ball of rage and pure hatred for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. No one would look me or the little old man who was standing beside me in the eye. No. One. They stared at the wet floor and whispered even as the man was placed on a gurney and was being taken outside. This was the exact moment in my life I decided I did not like most people and to never depend on anyone but myself.
The man lived for just hours longer. He had a heart defect no one was aware of. It was worse than a “simple” heart attack. He was 38 years old and had two young daughters. Because the hospital had my info, his wife came to my home later to thank me. He had regained consciousness long enough to say goodbye to her.44 Comments