The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

This is my dear friend Carole.

Normally, she doesn’t look like this. Normally, her outer beauty isn’t this battered and bruised. You can still see the inner beauty, though, shining through her eyes. Look closely. Note her intelligence, her sense of humor, and her indomitable spirit. In her late 70’s, she still has a zest for life that I’ve come to love and admire since we first became friends through my blog about 8 years ago.

I’ll let her describe how she came to look like this.

“On Monday about 1PM it was bright and sunny, a beautiful day. I stopped just across the FL/GA line to get gas. I was thinking about the good times I had had with my family at Disney, and wishing I had a few more days with them.

“Well, the pump wouldn’t give me a receipt, so I headed inside to get a copy. Returning to my car, I lost my footing on the curb, and down I went. In slow-mo, I saw the sidewalk coming up to kiss me, and I heard the sickening sound of a hard-boiled egg being crushed on the counter, but it was my nose. PAIN unimaginable.

“There were 3 or 4 people pumping gas. I lay there maybe 2 minutes, checking mentally each part of my body to make sure nothing was broken, and if I was bleeding. Not one person made a move to see if they could help or even ask, “Are you okay?”

“So I went inside and the two employees asked all the right questions, offered any assistance and generally made me feel better. I hung around for an hour to make sure I wasn’t going to risk my life or anyone else’s life, then headed home.

“I accidentally missed a turn in Atlanta and couldn’t find my way back on the interstate. I stopped at a Jiffy store to ask for directions and the man started smiling real big. By the time he got the directions out of his mouth, he was choking, trying not to get out a full blown belly laugh.

“Back on the road home, after driving about 10 hours, I pulled into a hotel. I spoke to someone through a teller window to ask for the cheapest rate. She had this big smirk. $89.99.  I said, “That’s your cheapest price?” So I drove all the way home.

“I got home at 1:45 am. I am assuming that all the people’s reactions to me were because they thought that I was an abused woman on the run.”

Personally, I’m horrified to know that multiple people left my dear friend lying on the pavement and no one did a thing to help her up or check on her.

Recently, my husband and I saw a woman fall in a parking lot and we stopped our car to get out and see if she was okay. My husband helped her up, brushed her off, and made sure she was not in need of an ambulance before we left. Isn’t that what a normal, decent person would do? And yet I’ll never forget that 20 years ago my 92-year-old neighbor once lay on the sidewalk with a broken wrist for two hours as numerous people walked right past her.

So the fact that no one went to Carole’s aid isn’t that unusual. People just can’t seem to be bothered to do the right thing anymore. It sickens me. And the idea that people found her condition funny, that there was no empathy for her situation whatsoever, disgusts me to the very marrow of my being.

Is there no compassion left in this world? Don’t we give a fig about our fellow man anymore? What has caused such a lack of humanity? How do we get it back?

I’m ashamed of the human race right now.

By the way, Carole says she’s feeling much better. I’m glad to hear it. But it should have gone much differently. Lest we forget, we all fall down sometimes.

_______________________________________________

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4 thoughts on “Have We Lost All Humanity?

  1. Carole says:

    Thank You for your insight and concern dear friend. What always gets me up whenever I am down or in this case having fallen, is the fact I know who I am and that I have fiends and family that will always have my back. I shudder to think what might have happened had I broken down somewhere, and not been able to get to a safe place. I can understand complacencies, and not getting involved, but I will never understand why the man kept grinning gleefully. I was reminded that my Grandson (6) was so proud when he got hit with baseball and had a glorious black eye. I could picture him saying “Suck it up Grandma”. DONE.

    1. lol. Love your grandson, and don’t even know him. I’m hoping against hope that that man who was grinning was doing it because he was nervous and didn’t know how to act. Some people grin when they’re nervous.

  2. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    AAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHHH. I wish I could go find those smirking people and slap some sense into them. Even if it *was* an abuse victim on the run, why the @#$%& would anyone find that funny?
    Also I can’t imagine people ignoring someone who has fallen. The few times I saw someone in trouble like that, I didn’t leave till I was sure they were getting help.
    I also don’t like how some people seem to always assume the worst. When I see someone who has gotten bunged up, I figure they had an accident of some sort, but I don’t make up stories as to how. There’s a lot we don’t know. I don’t want to downplay the urgency of the family violence problem, but this sort of assumption doesn’t seem real helpful.
    I think it’s related to the way some people have a talent for finding something dirty or otherwise scabrous in anything, and they pop right up in certain comment threads. Also the way my mother is such a gloom-and-doomer about any situation involving people outside our immediate circle that I have on numerous occasions tried to rein her in. “We don’t KNOW that for sure!”
    I need to go get some brain bleach.

    1. I know for sure that you would have helped, Angi. Wish we had been there.

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