8.24.2010

standing by for medical emergency

charlie ticket on the express bus

Her ebony hand clutches his pale arm as she whispers to him.

"I'll tell the driver." But he doesn't leave her side. Instead, he enlists a fellow passenger, in an unmistakable Boston accent, to communicate to the driver a passenger is in trouble.

An unassuming woman with neat blonde hair turns around. "Have you eaten anything recently? Are you diabetic?" Her bedside manner reveals her as a nurse, even if her attire does not.

The train pulls into the stop and the doors open. Only after making sure the nurse will remain with the woman does the man in the Red Sox t-shirt step off to continue with his day.

"This train is standing by for a medical emergency," the loudspeakers announce, as the nurse holds the woman's hand. "Will you go to Mass Gen? Yeah, they'll take really good care of you there!"

A woman at the back of the train mutters "I could get there faster if I walked," shaking her head to the man standing next to her.

A man leans in for video footage with his camera phone as the medical officials arrive and have the woman lay down in the car. The nurse offers an update as they begin to take out equipment and ask the passengers to exit the train so they have room to work.

The man with the camera phone takes photos as he steps down the stairs. Photos of the woman. Photos of the EMTs.

"DON'T DO THAT. I'm trying to do my job. Get outta here with that!"

"Chill out man." And he walks away in his sneakers and fedora, scrolling through his shots.

The nurse remains on the train car, holding the woman's hand as she's gently lifted onto the special seat they will use to take her up the stairs to the waiting ambulance.

Soon the trains resume. New passengers board, unaware that moments before, a woman's crisis distilled the heroes from the villains.
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