Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The men in blue!

Rain drizzled from the sky and the sun's last rays reflected off the mirrored walls of the downtown high-rises. Approaching the intersection, sirens and horns echoing through the downtown streets, the two emergency vehicles met. I, sitting in a rather large box of an ambulance still realized I was the smaller of the two, flipped my right hand along the emergency switches and extinguished the rotating strobes of my light bar like a flame between two fingers. The fire engine roared through the intersection.

We tucked in behind the large white truck and drafted ourselves the remainder of the way to the call. We pulled around the truck and parked at an opposing angle, creating a safe little box for all the emergency personnel from the slightly intoxicated, road-raged, curious drivers of downtown.

A man with wafty hair ran towards us all, shouting nonsensical words. His advancements halted with the verbal leash of a friend inside the bar. He stopped, smiled, turned, and ran back into the bar.

On the ground, wrestling his ripped shirt, was a bloodied man. A diamond studded belt buckle held up tight blue jeans. His white oxford was half on, half off. Buttons popped off the stitching and rolled like marbles on the wet concrete sidewalk.

We approached, and I quickly turned back to the ambulance, knowing that this vision of inebriated chaos was coming with us.

"He's beyond detox," said a fireman.

The man shouted slurred obscenities and waved his tangled, bloodied hands.

I returned with the bed, a backboard (because they are more or less disposable and we can leave them at the ED for them to clean), a cervical collar, a blanket and a sheet.

"The sheet is because he is so bloody," I hinted to the fireman helping me unload all this gear.

"Optimistic, are you?"

We wheeled the bed past the diner's windows. Patrons inside strained their necks as they looked over their shoulders. The waitress, with mouth wide open, held a steaming pot of coffee. Their world was on pause.

I approached and all I saw was blood. Hands covered in dripping clots of red. Hi mouth bubbling bright red as his jaw bounced up and down with every slur. His white shirt stained bright red. And little pools of diluted blood ran through cracks in the sidewalk down into the street.

I "net" him with the white sheet and everyone grabbed a hand. Another gloved the mouth that spat blood with every obscenity. And like a frat boy holding a baby, we awkwardly, and uncomfortably, lifted him onto the backboard and placed him on the bed. Hands were Velcroed and his knees and chest were seat belted in. The streetlight framed his face and everyone was now able to see the reason for the bleeding.

We all stepped back and asked one another questions.

"Do I have blood on my face?"

"No, do I?"

After self-inspecting, we get back to work.

"What happened?" asked my partner.

No response.

"What's your name?"

No response.

We wrapped his head with gauze like a combat soldier and held pressure at the point of bleeding.

As we wheeedl him past the fishbowl of Diner patrons he finally decided to coherently talk.

And like a zombie in a B-flick movie, he thrusted his bloodied, bandaged head upward to the sky. Spitting foamy bubbles of blood, he turned his head towards the frightened crowd within and screamed. Everyone inside flinched, coffee was spilt and coins were dropped. The waitress turned and briskly walked away.





Loving Annie said...

What am I mssing here ? It must have been a movie I never saw --

HollyB said...

I'm with Annie. I must have ducked, b/c somethin' went WAAY over my head.

Kyle J. said...

I lived in Boulder/Denver for some time, this wouldn't be the Denver Diner on Colfax and Speer would it? I love that place.