Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way

How I Came to Helping a Man Facedown in the Street

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My recovery plan for Midpoint Music Festival was to eat a nice brunch and write my MPMF reviews at the coffee shop. After brunch I headed to Findlay Market where I had a really nice chat with the woman behind the counter at Churchill’s Teas. I left with a matcha wisk and some Samauri grade matcha.

While I was walking down Race Street toward Central Parkway, I heard a hollow thud behind me. I turned around and saw a man face down in the street. I stared dumbly at him for a few seconds, because someone lying motionless in the street is quite unusual.

He seemed in no hurry to get up; oncoming traffic urged me to reach him before vehicles did. In the contest between this guy and addiction, the addiction had it by a landslide. The grim on his clothing had been building up for months. I talked to him. I shook his shoulder. He didn’t move. I got in front of him to direct traffic around him to make sure he didn’t get run over.

While I was directing traffic one woman drove up and asked if I needed 911. I said yes. She pulled her car over and made the call. Two other women in the next car pulled over. One woman was a doctor and came over to check the man’s pulse. A passing cyclist asked if I needed help, and agreed to bike a block north to look for the police that I recalled passing.

Once the police arrived they carried the man from the street and agreed to check him out. I went on my way figuring that I had done all that I could. It was a bit unsettling to see, as that man was someone’s son. Someone loved him. Someone probably still loves him. And this is where he is.

I stewed over that on the rest of my walk to Coffee Emporium. Upon arrival the doctor and her friend were already there in line. They bought me a coffee for stopping to help the man. It was a sweet gesture.

Here’s the thing that struck me about this. Of the 8 people who saw what was happening, 7 of them stopped and asked if they could help. When all you see of other humans is what’s on reality TV and in the news, things look really bleak. But that’s not how most real people act. That’s a spectacle that we don’t have the good sense to look away from.

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