moments that shame me
Out cold in a pool of blood in an alley.
It was an alley in Los Angeles that was the back way in to one of the last photography studios in Los Angeles that developed black and white film.
That is why I was there.
It was in the Hebrew part of L.A. By Fairfax and Santa Monica. Most of the people who lived there were elderly. Nice little old Jewish people. Quiet. Different. They wear a lot of black and don’t speak a lot of English. This was not gang country.
But there was a fucking body in the alley.
I stopped the car and leaped out with no fucking clue what to do and she was this tiny [I mean tiny, like 80 poounds] elderly woman in this pool of blood [and I mean pool, like, gallons of blood] out cold and I was on 911 like a cat on fire freaking out because I had no idea how anyone who lost that much blood could still be alive but she was alive she was still breathing but I was sure any second that would stop and she would be dead and I had no idea how to cope with someone dying in front of me she had to live that was it.
Which is what I hit that poor bastard on 911 with.
People seeing my very dramatic screech to a halt in the alley mouth started coming out of shops across the street and showing up. I don’t know how long she was lying there but none of them saw her till they saw my car screach on the breaks and me hopping up and down on a phone yelling.
I was yelling at the guy on the 911 line and he was saying, Calm down. And I was saying, Fuck you, I AM CALM!, just get the fucking ambulance here now!
[Which probably means I was not all that calm.]
And then I was pulling clothes out of the back of the car to make her a pillow because a guy showed up who was a medical guy saying it was okay to give her a pillow though I was freaked if she had a spine injury it might increase it but he said no, no spine injury, we can give her a pillow.
So I pulled three shirts out of the car and shoved them at him to make a pillow for her.
And then she woke up and looked right at me and put out her hand.
She wanted me to hold her hand.
I don’t know why she picked me. By then there was a crowd, including that medical guy who was making the pillow and not afraid of blood at all.
But she looked right at me and put out her hand.
And I wouldn’t take her hand.
I couldn’t hold her hand because it was covered in blood.
We got her on an ambulance and to the hospital and she made it [though to me that’s fucking magic I don’t know how someone that tiny can lose that much blood and still live it was truly a lake of blood].
That haunts me.
And shames me.
I wouldn’t take her hand.
I can’t touch blood.