Last week, I watched a guy have a seizure on the subway. Here’s my SURVIVOR STORY:
Before we start, it’s important to rewind a bit further, back to 1999. I was a college senior living in Allston, Massachusetts. One morning, I was sitting on the T, on my way from Allston to the BU campus. All of a sudden, a girl who was standing next to my seat passed out. She fell right on top of me. I caught her, laid her gently on my chair and then GOT RIGHT THE FUCK OFF THE TRAIN. I did not not wait to see if she was ok. I did not communicate with anyone else on the train. If the train was still moving, I’m pretty sure I would have jumped right off. I wanted NOTHING to do with this situation.
That’s always stuck with me. I’ve never been happy about my behavior that day. It was callous and selfish and uncaring and, most glaring, it was cowardly.
So, fast forward to last Thursday.
Somehow, I had managed to get ready and get out of the house a little earlier than usual. I was actually kid of excited by the idea of getting to work a few minutes early and being able to ease into the day. I was even more excited when the subway pulled up and I was presented with a sparsely populated car with plenty of available seats. I did my cursory lunatic check, saw no one that raised any red flags and took a seat. A few minutes after the train pulled out the station, I heard someone make a very loud noise. “Damnit,” I thought, “We have an undercover crazy on the train. The guy isn’t dressed like a lunatic. I was sold a bill of goods! Maybe I should switch to a different car. No, I have a seat. A seat is worth sitting through twenty minutes of crazy ranting.”
Then the guys arm shot up in the air and his hand was shaking. “Damnit! He’s going to be a semi-violent lunatic. Still, I have a seat. I’m not moving.”
Then he dropped his bag. And I looked again. He was not a lunatic, he was having a seizure. Everyone else on the train apparently realized the same thing at this point and, I’m happy to say, we all reacted correctly. A few people lied the man down on the bench. I hit the emergency call button and told the conductor we had a medical emergency. At this moment, we pulled into the next station. When the doors opened, me and another guy ran out onto the platform and down to where the conductor was sitting, to make sure he knew what was going on. He did. Then a man came forward and identified himself as a nurse. We brought him back to our car and he got to work on the seizure guy.
And so, the emergency was handled. That meant everyone’s New Yorker-ness could come back out.
It only took about 5 minutes for the first murmers of, “get the guy off the train and let’s get moving. I’m going to be late” to start. At some point, some random woman walked into the car, walked over to where the emergency workers were still trying to revive the man, and then started sobbing uncontrollably. Why? It’s not happening to you. You weren’t even here when it happened. Why are you crying? Do you need attention that much?
Next came the experts. “You know, we’re right downstairs from Lenox Hill Hospital. Did anyone call up to Lenox Hill? They should take him to Lenox Hill. Lenox Hill. Lenox Hill. Lenox Hill. Lenox Hill.”
And now, the crowders. People squeezing forward so they can get a first hand look at the blue guy lying on a subway bench. A couple actually squeezed in front of the EMT’s who were trying to administer first aide. Finally, an MTA worker yelled. “Can everyone else get off the goddamned train?” And we did. I found a new seat on a different car and waited for the train to start moving again. Ol’ Seizure McGee eventually came to and was able to walk away under his own power, with a couple of EMT’s in tow. I imagine they took him to Lenox Hill. IT’S RIGHT UPSTAIRS.
The train started moving again in about ten minutes. And I rode it all the way to work, without further incident, comfortable in the fact that I am in fact an everyday hero. Or at least not a person who cries spontaneously in the face of emergency.
Here’s the thing. I’ve stopped reading Sports Illustrated as intently as I used to. Part of it is that the magazine has started coming on Thursday instead of Wednesday, which gives me one less gym visit a week during which to read it. Part of it is that I’m more busy on weekends than I used to be. Part of it is the rise of smartphones, which has essentially eliminated the need for magazines in the bathroom.
Whatever the reason, the lack of reading has led to a lack of writing. I find myself skipping weeks because I’m not comfortable publishing an SI Review about an issue I have not looked through thoroughly.
And so, I place this question to the readers:
Should I abandon the Review section and just turn this into a series of weekly musings? Should the first section of these posts just become the entire posts? Or, is it important to share my thoughts on the articles and the sports issues of the day? I’m genuinely interested in what you have to say about this. But, don’t email me. Post it in the comments. Maybe that can start an interesting conversation which will lead me to the answer I’m looking for.