It was a grey weekday afternoon on the Brian Lara Promenade and the usual throng was present. Above the noise of car horns, traffic, and loud animated conversation, a woman’s voice was heard. “Oh gawd, please, somebody call the ambulance please!” She was easy to see from Royal Castle across the street. I was walking fast as I usually do, perhaps faster. It was late. I had taken the morning off to attend my child’s graduation; it was after one and I had to get work done. Work was on my mind.
She was kneeling, hunched over and screaming repeatedly, “Please, somebody call the ambulance!” I put my hand on my purse, uncertain of what I was going to meet as I approached her. Two people were standing next to her looking down. There were other people, most at a distance, watching with detached interest and they were the ones on whom I focused. I myself felt disconnected from what was going on – my own internal monologue preoccupying me; my voice was louder than hers.
I walked past without looking, and only moments after realised what I had done when the pleading finally broke through my self-absorption. I looked back and saw an old man sitting next to her. She had pressed to his head a rag and he was leaning weakly against her. I unzipped my bag pulled out my phone and walked back to her but somebody beat me to it. A man approaching from the other side was already talking to someone on his mobile, “An ole man fall down and bus’ his head. He bleedin’. Yuh need to sen’ an ambulance…”