April 10th, 2006


I'm Feeling a Little Woozy

Driving down the exit ramp of the multi-storey car-park in Beeston, I eyed an old woman falling to the ground. Her husband was walking arm-in-arm with her and he took most of her weight as she collapsed. By the time she was on the floor I was out of the car and had my phone in my hand and had already thumbed in emergency services. As I approached I noticed that the colour was disappearing from her face and she was turning a waxy blue. I've seen that before. When you watch someone die it's not something you forget.

I was calling for an ambulance before I was even aware of doing it. Then I sat with the woman and rubbed her hand whilst I continued to speak to her. By this time I figured she was either dead or dying. Her husband was utterly distraught, but the other people that had come over to help were trying their best to keep him calm. Another woman then came over with some blankets.

A few minutes before the paramedic arrived she regained consciousness. Her speech was slurred but she seemed fairly okay. She told me that she was diabetic and that she suffered from high blood pressure. She also said that she felt a bit foolish, but I told told her that everyone who was there was simply concerned for her well-being and that she should put the idea out of her mind. This made her chuckle. Always a good sign.

As the colour began to return to her face she was telling me her name. It's Mrs Hunt. Mrs Catherine Hunt. She said this with a terribly dirty chuckle.

When the paramedic appeared I wished her all the best and she gave my hand a squeeze. Her husband shook my hand and the woman who gave me the blankets gave me a kiss and told me that I was a wonderful young man.

As I drove home I couldn't help but mull over all of the incidents I've encountered in my life. Things like people getting hit by cars, finding people who have been badly beaten-up or, in this case, people randomly collapsing. It seems like I'm forever getting drawn in to those kind of situations. And when it happens it's like someone else takes control of me; like the flip-side of panic*. Suddenly I know exactly what I need to do. I tell people where they need to be and what they need to be doing. And, oddly, they do it.

Then I walk away. It always ends the same way. I never find out what happens in the end. It's like a string of unfinished stories; finding that some asshole has ripped out the last page of your book.

One thing I did take from today's encounter is that I should get myself checked out. My mother keeps telling me that going blind or having the sensation of the room being tipped upside-down are warning signs. That my body is trying to tell me that something isn't right. As I watched the colour return to Mrs Hunt's face I began to consider that she's probably right.

*this is also referred to as Hitchhiker Zen