Friday, November 06, 2009

Falling Down

I didn't fall down, but someone else did, and I feel somewhat responsible. Here's what happened:

I was sitting in the coffee shop section of Borders yesterday afternoon where I had camped out in an arm chair. I was working on a thing for Small Town Newspaper and was on a roll, sort of. A deaf man stopped by and signaled that I might like to buy a pen from him—he held out a ball point pen with a card attached explaining he was deaf, and the pen would cost $1. So, I handed him a dollar, and he handed me the pen. He walked over to a guy in another chair who declined, and I felt superior. I thought the deaf man might not really be deaf and was just too lazy to get a job, but that's not my responsibility. I had a spare dollar I won't miss, and now hopefully he'll put it to good use.

I went back to my writing when a young woman sat down next to me, and I had a sense she was looking at me. I looked up to see her staring at me with her chin in her hand. She asked if I had any Tylenol or Advil in my bag, and I said I didn't. I never have that sort of thing, like Tylenol or tissues, in my bag, but I didn't bother to tell her that much.

She got up and got a drink and a sandwich and sat back down. She looked at me for a few minutes, but then she put her head between her knees, and then she asked if I wanted her sandwich. "No, thank you," I said, and she said that she couldn't eat it because she was going to pass out, and she got up and grabbed her backpack. I didn't know what to say, and she was weird, so I just said, "I'm sorry."

The poor weird girl went outside and stood on the sidewalk, and then she passed out. Someone at the desk called 911, and an ambulance came, and the store manager blocked off the main entrance and made people come and go through a side door, and I felt really bad. I'm not sure what I could have done, and I don't know how a Tylenol could have prevented the girl from passing out, but it seems like I should have offered to do something for her.

I watched through the window until the ambulance left, but I never found out what happened to the girl. I didn't feel so superior after that. Well, at least the deaf guy sold a pen.

9 comments:

kyle@sift said...

I think you might be a ...well....a...freak magnet.

E said...

I have to agree. This reminded me of Berkeley.

Scout said...

E: "She was fat, and her parents let her be fat."

savannah said...

if you had asked her if she needed you to call someone, like the manager or 911, she probably would have said no. so other than respond as you did, there's probably nothing you could or should have done differently. xoxox

dive said...

Yup, you certainly seem to attract more than your fair share of unusual people, Robyn. Perhaps Kyle is on to something.

Shan said...

How do you make me laugh while telling such a story? Poor girl. I only laugh at the situation in general. Don't blame yourself though of course. How were you to know she had any idea what she was talking about? I don't like to be duped by the crazies either. I would have been the same exact way(except the guy wouldn't have sold a pen either-ba dum bum)

Now I really wonder what was wrong with her. Maybe the cafe will hear back about it. I wonder why she thought standing up over a sidewalk would be a good place to pass out. It's all so confusing. I hope she wasn't having an aneurism. Hmmm....

Lynn said...

Well people always tell me I find drama, too, but maybe it's just that we notice it, look around and thereby these people are drawn to us. Maybe we have a sign on our heads "this person might help you" but then, often, we can't. Who knows?

It is strange indeed that the girl knew she would faint yet left the secure area of comfy seating. I wondered for a moment if the deaf guy and she were in with each other, whilst you opened your bag ready to snatch. I'm not being unfair, just realistic.

What's Tylenol anyway? I wouldn't have even known what she meant.

Lynn said...

Or Advil? Had to go back to be reminded of the name. I really don't know.

You couldn't have done much, Robyn, maybe told the staff she was ill or told her to remain there, but quite honestly, considering her behaviour before, you could easily have just thought her 'weird' and not ill at all and therefore quite glad she left.

Lynn said...

Ok one more comment then you'll be rid of me lol. Actually if this were ME, I would go to the hospital and visit her. I know I would, but it might get you embroiled into a 'situation' far greater than you intend. That's what I would do, though. Just sayin'.