Saturday, November 21, 2015

Damage to a person

Coming home on Thursday the subway driver said we’d be delayed by what German rail jargon calls “Personenschaden,” which literally means “damage to a person” and really means a suicide on the tracks. The subway pulled slowly into the station and my car drew up alongside the man, who lay directly below my window. He was alive. You could tell because his lips moved and paramedics were caring for him. There was a little blood coming from his head but otherwise you couldn’t make out an injury. Some passengers gasped.

We stood there for 10 minutes since traffic was a mess. I was glad I’d seen him. It was of course terrible but not in a graphic way. I’d rather have seen him than be in the next car and just see everyone staring curiously out the window. And though I had my new iPhone in my hand 1) I refrained from taking a picture, and so did everyone else. 2) I decided not to cancel my annual donation to the paramedics association, which I’ve been considering. 3) I hoped that he would live and that whatever pain brought him there would abate, and that someday he’d be 79 and glad to be alive. 

Related Posts with Thumbnails