An Old Man Fell and Cracked His Head Pretty Damn Hard…

Kerplunk!

Kerplunk!

…and all I did was watch.

So there I am, a normal Tuesday morning, standing at the newsstand near my apartment building buying a copy of On Our Backs Magazine and a few Win For Lifescratch off tickets. Behind me, about 3 yards away, is the entrance to the Duane Reade on 79th Street. I’m scratching off the tickets, I’m losing money, I’m sipping coffee, I’m scratching, I’m losing, I’m sipping coffee, I’m eyeing the cover of the magazine, I’m showing restraint, I’m saving that boner for later, I’m scratching, I’m losing again, my life basically carried on this way for a few minutes barring the occasional glance at some female passerbys.

Behind me I hear a woman GASPING and dropping her bags, this sound was followed immediately by, what can only be described as, a loud coconut slamming against glass noise. I turned as quickly as I could and by the time I completed my rotation the previous noises, still fresh in my ears, were complimented by that of the unmistakable sound of a wooden cane hitting the sidewalk and bouncing (kind of like a pool cue would bounce off the floor of a bar after you threw it down in disgust).

An old man lied there on the sidewalk before me.  The back of his balding head, cracked open like a watermelon. As head wounds often do, he was bleeding profusely, but the man was conscious and screaming something in old man drawl that I didn’t understand. In retrospect I’m sure it was either “Fuck!” or “Ouch” or “Ouch Fuck!”. A woman was already holding him screaming bloody murder and demanding someone call an ambulance. I looked around (as most New Yorkers do in times of trouble) but didn’t reach for my phone (as most other New Yorkers do in times of trouble).  I couldn’t be bothered to call, my hands were full of coffee, lotto and porn, none of which I had found acceptable to drop at the time.

City-life just kept on going, no one seemed to notice the bloody scene but me and after only a moment the same woman who was cradling the old man dialed 911 on her own cellular phone. She wasn’t shy about alerting the onlookers to this fact, I recall hearing the words “bastards” and “heartless” and not in that order. Although I couldn’t see her eyes I could sense the “I really need to move out of this town” aura emanating from her body. She’d had it with New York, this gruesome confused old man losing his balance and cracking his noggin against the front door of Duane Reade had made it a reality.  This city was no longer for her, poor dumb bitch.

Seeing that the situation was being resolved, without any inconvenience to me, I decided to move myself along thus freeing up valuable space for the EMS people, who would no doubt be arriving any minute. As I walked away I noticed a funny thing under the old man’s body. Shapes I knew all too well. Several used lottery tickets lay strewn beneath his upturned feet; most likely left by someone who couldn’t be bothered to find a trash can, opting instead to litter. I couldn’t say for sure if they were mine and I couldn’t say for sure if they had caused his fall, but I like to think they did.  That’s just the type of fucker I am.

– Mike James
(from the trenches)

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Published in: on October 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. LMAO…so wrong…but I enjoyed the read 🙂


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