this is part of as days pass by, by Stuart Langridge

On my way to work the other day, a woman collapsed on the pavement.

I didn't see her do it. I probably could have done, but I was reading (which is an iffy proposition while walking, but I do it anyway) and so I didn't notice her until she was already on the floor. Her eyelids were fluttering and she couldn't speak. She was in her mid-twenties, camel-hair coat, coppery red hair from a bottle.

I stopped, and tried to talk to her, and she couldn't reply. She tried to sit up, and stuttered out a question, asking what had happened. And then slumped to the pavement again. So I called an ambulance. And I tried to move her, sort of, into the recovery position. Not very successfully. Another guy stopped, and bent down to talk to her; I had no idea who he was. A lady stopped and said that she was a nurse, to which the guy responded that he also was, and she continued on her way. A small crowd of schoolchildren gathered.

The ambulance arrived (gratifyingly quickly, given my worries about the emergency services) and took her away. The ambulanceman asked me a couple of questions, and I told him what I knew.

I have no conclusion to draw from this incident. I just hope she made it.

© Aquarius, March 2002