This Post Lacks a Good Title

I work at a vet clinic on the west side of a street that travels north/south.  The street is only a block off the main thoroughfare, which is a simple four-lane highway that also travels north/south.  It’s easy to see things outside here at the veterinarian’s office.  There are four enormous plate glass windows in the office/reception area.  So, all the while sitting at my work station, I have a large view of the outside.  A lot of folks use our street as a short cut, both by car or on foot.  We’re a bit isolated.  There’s woods across the street and to one side of the clinic.  The other side of the clinic has an earth-moving business next to it, but that business is almost defunct, and weeds and kudzu vines cover most of that lot.  There’s one other business that’s within view, and it’s a cabinet/woodworking business that’s across the street from the earth-moving business.  Often there’s no one at that shop, which is located in an old dairy building with no windows.  The back of the clinic is the railroad track, and trains speed thr0ugh every few hours, shaking our building.  If you travel south along our street past the wooded section, you’ll come to a storage unit business, a liquor store and beverage shop, a doctor’s office, and a Family Dollar, then the street makes a sharp left-hand turn and intersects with the main street.  From my work station, I can see people traveling along, everyone with a purpose. 

Yesterday a client pulled into the parking space right outside the two plate glass windows that flank my work station.  When he entered the office, he asked what was wrong with the man lying in the street.  We all looked at him, puzzled, like he had just announced that a meteor had landed outside.  Surely that was not possible.  A man?  Lying in the street?  The temperature the night before had dropped to twenty-one degrees, and it didn’t feel much warmer, even at 10 AM. 

He insisted that it was true, and said that there was another man with him.  See?  Right there, he insisted.  We looked out, and, sure enough, there were two men across the street, along the side in the shady part where the woods shaded the pavement.  One man dressed in brown lay along the roadway, and the other, a tall man, was walking away from him, headed north.  I grabbed my coat and headed outside and called out to the walking man to see if the other man needed help. 

He seemed startled that I spoke, and said, “Oh, no, he fine, he just fine.”  And he hustled back toward the other man, still lying on the ground, and he called out to him, “Michael!  Get up!  You got to get up, man!”  The man on the ground did not move, and the other man tried to help him stand, but it was no use.  The brown man just wet-noodled back down to the ground. 

I went back inside and tried to figure out what to do.  If I called the police, they’d haul him off.  He appeared drunk, but what if he was sick?  And if he was drunk, how did he get drunk so early?  The liquor store had only opened one hour earlier, and that store was as far away as the length of a football field.  How did he get drunk and collapse on the side of the road?  The tall man was trying to cover up for something. 

There are local derelict-type people in this town who make a profession of drinking.  They are very serious and dedicated to their craft, and you could set the clock by them as they headed south to be at the liquor store when it opened at nine.  I decided to call my friend Dot, who owns the liquor store and feeds a feral cat colony there.  I explained to Dot what was happening, and she said that the man had rheumatoid arthritis and that the cold weather “just kills him”, and that she did not know why his friends insisted on bringing him to town.  She said that she would come get him.

I suppose she did pick him up.  I suppose she took him back to her store.  Is it just a matter of time before he gets back onto the street and gets run over?


Tags: ,

2 Responses to “This Post Lacks a Good Title”

  1. Leo Says:

    Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner once sang a song that I do not recall the title to, but it dealt with lying to each other. In the song is the line that “I know a lie when I hear one.” I have a brother-in-law with rheumatoid arthritis and he absolutely has never oozed down onto a street to sleep. However there was a time once when I was in Memphis that a friend, myself, and an old colored wino drank alcohol in an alley, and I awoke the next morning to find all three of us still there. I guess my rheumatoid arthritis had kicked in, and I didn’t even know I had it.


    • ruthrawls Says:

      I just found out where this fellow lives. Yup, in my ‘hood. Turns out he was on his way TO the liquor store, and the tall man was on his way AWAY from the liquor store when they passed each other.
      I talked to the police later who said to call 911 in the future, and they would escort him to a local establishment for 30 days.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: