Sunday in the park.

9 Sep

Had I ever been the go-to guy in a medical emergency, I might very well have been a doctor. I am not that guy. When things on the inside end up on the outside? I tend to vomit in kind. Like the time I was atop the lifeguard stand the summer of my junior year in college and this guy body surfing hit some shards of glass and came towards me for help, his chest and stomach in tatters, looking for something like love while I tossed my lunch to the sunny sands below.

I thought that was my least shiny hour. Until one hour ago.

How this has never happened before or never even occurred to me given my clientele for fifteen years seems nearly impossible now. Now that I know it can happen, I’m not sure I will ever expect it not to happen within minutes each time I begin a tour. It unfolded in tableaux. And I can see each frame in my mind like the Zapruder film.

His wife had a look of horror on her face and I was concerned she was having a stroke. She was the color of a Komodo dragon. Next a shock wave belted me and I thought we’d hit a truck. Of corpses. My eyes teared up like Japanese commuters fleeing subway platforms when that Ricin bomb went off. Cries of “We need to stop!” came from all around me. We pulled off to the side of the road right in front of the American Museum of Natural History when the eighty-year old man seated mid-way down the aisle ran off the bus and into Central Park. A bear may shit in the woods, but not this fella. It was far too late and dark and deep.

Lady Macbeth’s line ran through my head. “Who would have thought the old man to have had so much…” as I saw an endless trail mark his path right up to the Naturalists’ Gate where he’d disappeared into a hedge. My god, good heavens, my good god in heaven, this gentleman must not have used the bathroom since our boys were in Korea.

Only one woman rose to the occasion. And of course it was a woman. We men are such pussies. I had sprung pigtails and was gagging, useless, quivering in the gutter in front of the disapproving bust of Humboldt. She gathered towels, found him in a foreign park, triaged him as best she could, I dunno, fashioned a diaper out of twigs and moss, returned to me and ordered me to call him a car. She was stunning. She deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The Dial 7 car arrived and the poor dear mortified man thanked me profusely for my kindness. I hadn’t done a goddam thing except manage not to pass out. I sent him on his way with his shell-shocked wife to their hotel and he shoved a twenty-dollar bill into the breast pocket of my blazer. I loved that blazer. It kills me that the twenty will burn along with it…

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2 Responses to “Sunday in the park.”

  1. Kimberly A. Stoltzfus September 10, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    I tell you this with love, after twenty years as a SM, 6 years as a grandmother, and 4 years as a nurse: IT’S JUST POOP. I’ve felt more nauseated by some of the actor BO I had to endure when I was interning in the costume department.

    At least you aren’t an Inuit, who has to lick it out of baby bottoms to keep them clean (true story).

    But happy to find your blog, regardless 🙂

    • NC Coot September 10, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

      Oh I fully concur, actors are FAR more filthy than the oldest smeary senior citizen.

      How wonderful to have you reading along, Ms. Stoltzfus!

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