A Story for Wednesday
Monday I was driving home from town in the bitter cold and wind, the kind that sends swirling dust and snow clouds down the road in front of school and Mt. Market and whips the flags at the fire hall straight up. I toodled along by Deishu Drive where the speed limit is 25 mph, and looked over my shoulder and saw a fuel truck at the back of the fire hall by the morgue door, with a long hose coming from it on the ground, to a large man in white bunny boots and heavy coveralls laying face down on the ice.
So I swung around to the parking lot about thirty feet away, and opened my car door and hollered, " Are you okay?" Nothing. No movement. I thought about dashing around to the front of the fire hall, where the police and Fireman Al all are, as they can do more than I can-- but the trip around the big barn of a building seemed too far, and would take too long on all that ice without my ice grippers if the man needed help. (Never again, now I have a pair and a spare.) I moved toward him carefully, so as not to fall, as my heart pounded and I tried to remember was it five compressions and one breath? Or ten? Clear the airway, tip the head back, pinch the nose. O Lord, I need a CPR refresher course.
I was right over him, and still he didn't move. "Are you alright?" I said softly this time, and touched his back. O God I hope he's not dead.
"Hi Heather, can I help you?" Kelly Wilson said, tipping his face up at me. He almost gave me heart failure. I said I was so happy he was okay-- and he looked puzzled. When I explained (still standing over him) what had happened he laughed (still flat on the ground) and thanked me for noticing him, and told me the only way to know when the Borough's fuel tank is full is to put an ear to the top of the pipe coming out of the ground and listen for it.