I saw someone who had been hit by a bus.
I was on my way home from the auto repair place, and there was a bus and a car stopped in the intersection of Roosevelt and 80th. At first, the car was blocking my view of the person under the heap of blankets in the middle of the road, and I thought it was probably a simple fender bender.
I could hear the sirens approaching, but I couldn't see where they were coming from, so I stopped. The fire engine and ambulance pulled up in front of my car, and so I was stuck until someone told me what to do. I watched the man under the heap of blankets. He moved his head and hand a few times. The bus driver responsible for the accident was sitting in his bus. I guess he used his bus radio to call for help. But the people from the car had all gotten out, and were talking to the man, and holding his hand. The man didn't look scared. He didn't even look like he was in pain. He was just there.
One of the EMTs got out and started directing traffic, and had me turn around and go the other way. He had a friendly face...I suppose that it's good for those people to look confident at the scene of an accident in which someone has been hurt.
I followed directions, turned around, and went home by another route. I didn't want to go. I have no medical training. I don't even have a cell phone, so I couldn't even have called for an ambulance had I arrived earlier. I got to the intersection right when the professionals arrived, so I would have only gotten in the way. I wanted to help, but I couldn't.
Some of the people who had been riding the bus were standing around, looking at their watches, on their cell phones. They didn't look disturbed. I was disturbed.
I kept thinking about how cold the surface of the road would be on a morning like this. There were so many blankets piled on top of the injured man, but the parts of him that were on the pavement would be slowly freezing, so that no amount of blankets would keep him warm. I could only see his arm and head, and I wondered if he was a mangled, broken mess underneath his coverings. I wondered if he would call out for water because he had lost blood. I wondered what it would be like to be in his place. I don't know if he was cognizant or not. I wondered whether people know what to do in situations like that, or if people who have been unexpectedly, severely injured just wait to be told what to do, and lay quietly until someone instructs them.
I just hope he wasn't scared. I hope he didn't feel alone.