Wednesday, September 26, 2007
This post is a break from Politics and Political Worries,I started this post a week ago, and I am still trying to rest my eye, so it is a relatively short story.....It is a story from my past and also a receipe for a Crisp Early Autumn, Indian Summer Eve and yes ,there is Music in Title as usual.It is actually transferred ( stolen from Silent Fallout).Here I wrote a story a last year " Miracles in the Deep End", this is the Second Part. It all started because my son wanted to know about how I became a nurse....Which ended up with me telling him how I became a lifeguard, which only half answered The Question.Now for the Rest of the Story....
Part One: The Bad Date
This is many years ago....So one of the summers I was lifeguarding, I met alot of people, and I was set up on a date with an undercover cop. He was nice enough. He was from Jersey, he had an attitude, and he had a sense of humor.And as a Baltimore cop he had stories. And yes, there was something interesting about dating an undercover cop, kind of like Bond, more Mystery than Substance. So I met him at a downtown bar after work one eve. It was Indian Summer, sun still setting late, and fairly warm in the eves, and Leaves turning golden yellows.So we met at the bar, which was named after somebody, and while there it started raining. A nice noisy downpour. The Eagles were playing on the Jukebox, and it was turning out to be an okay date. It was my 2nd date with the Cop. All of the sudden there was a Huge Screech as two cars went careening by the pub. Somehow we all knew that Something was Wrong, and somehow we all knew that Something was going to crash. I don't know how we knew that, but we knew.
So a bunch of us filed out and as if in slow motion the cars hit the corner way too fast. And the One raced past the other and shoved it around the corner, and the Hit Car ended up on it's side by a telephone pole. There was a tremendous violent creak of metal.And the one car drove off, and the other sat there balanced precariously on it's side, and part of it wedged, wrapped around the pole. Yet it was on it's side, with the passenger side down in the rainsoaked gutter. The smell of leaking fuel was wafting in the rainsoaked air. Sirens were heard in the distance. Yet everybody was still kind of frozen in time. I walked over to the car, and the Date pulled my arm, I waved him off. I went over and the driver was nowhere to be seen.Then I heard a moan coming from the side of the car down in the gutter. There was glass everywhere. I could see the gasoline pooling on top of the leaves and trash in the gutter. It was still raining slightly. I knelt down by the car and the gutter, trying to get closer to the moaning noise.
The car was making an interesting creaking noise. The Date came over and was yelling at me, something about "flammable" and " you better move,are you Stupid?"". He sounded muffled and far away. So I knelt down next to the crumpled passenger side, and there down in the corner with much broken glass, was a head wedged down in the smashed glass and dashboard of the passenger side.The hair was matted with blood. It was a man, but I could not tell how old he was. So I started talking to him. I told him he had been in an accident, and that help was on the way . ( atleast I was hoping). For Some reason I figured that if he was hurt, and moaning, and if I kept talking he might not pass out.And for some reason I thought that if he stayed awake he might live.
So the Firemen arrived. And there was much hussling about and yelling, and a fireman came over and asked" Do you have medical experience? " I told him I was a Lifeguard. He said "That will do". He asked if I wanted to leave, and explained that there was fuel leaking, I said I didn't care. He asked if the "Victim" was conscious. I said " I think so". He said," Keep talking to him, it will help. He might go into shock. We need to figure out how to get him out, and out of the car". He was working with others, there were lots of tools, and grinding noises. I ended up laying in the gutter, and through the broken glass I shoved my favorite suede jacket through the Hole in the broken glass, to pad the head. I asked where it hurt, and he said "Everywhere". I said More Help was coming.I laid in the gutter and kept him talking. His name was Jeff. The fireman would check on me everynow and then in between the grinding noises.I lost track of time laying in the gutter.
There were some jokes about how nothing had to be hosed down, the rains were doing a good job.I kept talking to Jeff, asked him about his car, his dog, his mom, we sang 99 Bottles of Beer on the wall, He made me sing Christmas songs. And finally the Firemen got his car to a point they could flip it down. At that point, the Fireman came over and put a Jacket on me, and he pointed out "you'r frozen, and your lips are blue". I said Thank you. I was hussled over to a curb as they brought the car down, and finally were able to get Jeff out. As they finished sending him off, and I said my goodbyes, I started to walk back to the one FireTruck to return the jacket. It was a nice big REAL Fire jacket.
As a I walked back I ran into the first fireman I had talked to, he said, "Do you have a jacket ?" I said no. He asked if I had ride? I said No that my date had well, left ( dissappeared). He looked at me and laughed" You're a mess." And he told me to stand by the truck. He went and asked if he could give me a ride home. He came back and said ,"you want a ride home?" ( In a firetruck-" Hell yeah").
Part Two: The Ride Home
So The Cute Fireman gives me a ride home. I am soaking wet, and covered in wet leaves, fuel, dirt and broken glass.By this time , it is very very late ( or early in the morning. ). And I got to ride in the empty streets in a Firetruck. He laughed. He said "You know you did a really good job? " I said "I did? ". He said "yeah, and you should think about making a job change." I said "you are right". He said something about how it was really good I knew what to do. At some point he looked over and said I looked kind of cold. I was pretty wet. My teeth were chattering and I couldn't answer him. He said, we better get you home. I nodded yes. So we got to my little 3rd floor studio apartment, and I was still wrapped in the Over Sized Fire Jacket. When we got inside he asked "Do you have anything hot?' I said I have Chili. So we heated up my Chili in my little plug in coffee pot ( that I used to heat food in my little Kitchenless studio). I offered him some through chattering teeth. I went and changed and he was still there. I asked if he had to get back ? He said he had a" little time". I said okay and we went on my Fire Escape (my living room) and ate chili as I sat wrapped in an old blanket and dry clothes.He said it was some of the Best Chili he had ever had.
Part Three: Wisdom from the Fireman
As he went to leave after two big mugs of Chili, he said " I was serious, you need to make a job change. You knew what you were doing tonight. And you did a good job. " Now this is the part of the story when I cringe. I thought in my naive Fireman Bliss moment that he was going to tell me that I should "be a Fireman". But no.....this is what he said," You need to think about being a Nurse, you would be great". I handed the jacket back to him with great sadness.He turned and said' Oh, come on, you have nothing to lose, this is your time to make a decision. Sink or Swim. And I already know you are a good swimmer."
And yeah....I thought about it, 3 years of College Psychology, and many hours of waitressing, and bartending, and lifeguarding, led to a different path, thanks to a Fireman on a wet and rainy night. ..you know the rest of the story.
Sometimes we all need a Fireman to tell us to Sink or Swim.
*[Click the title; Really interesting artist, Francess Ruffelle" Sink or Swim". My Best Chili Receipe Below]*
*[ Epilogue: The Victim did survive, and two weeks later I recieved a package- my suede jacket drycleaned and almost good as new, yes, from the Fireman.]