Not A Way To Start The Day
Just the other morning as I was trying hard to be a calm, sober, and mature adult, but not having much luck. I was at St. Arbucks slurping my coffee when a young man lurched through the door. He looked to be in his twenties but had a baby face that made him look about fourteen. But there was something “off” about him.
After he came through the door he stopped and took his time looking about the room. He made no move toward the cashier’s station. My first thought was, honestly, that he was considering who he should approach to try to get some “spare change.”
I could not have been more wrong.
At that particular moment I and the other Usual Suspects were having a conversation with the Principal of a nearby Middle School, a young (compared to me) woman who had stopped in for a coffee. The odd visitor headed in our direction.
When he got close he spoke for the first time, addressing the School Principal, ignoring the rest of us.
“Excuse me. Could you please take me to the hospital – I’m sure that I’m dying.”
“What did you say?”
“I think I am dying and I need a ride to the hospital.”
That certainly got everyone’s attention. I moved my table to improve my egress if it was needed. The Principal was no dummy. She looked at him and said, “I don’t think so. We can call 911 for you and they can take you.”
The man sat down and said that calling 911 might be a good idea.
One of the men in our group, a recently retired teacher, called out to the Store Manager who was behind the counter serving a customer. “Tom, can you call 911? We have a problem here. This young man feels that he needs to go to the hospital.”
The Manager took one look at the situation and called 911.
We are about a five minute drive from the nearest fire station with EMTs, but fortunately the crew was doing their station grocery shopping just across the parking lot from us at St. Arbucks. They were there within a couple of minutes. They pulled up outside the front door and a half dozen burly firemen poured through the door not looking too happy having had to abandon their shopping carts full of food at the Kroger Store.
At this point I stayed out of it all. There were several other people who were all talking at the same time: The Principal, the Retired Teacher, and the Store Manager. At this point another member of the Usual Suspects entered the scene. She is a Supervising ER Nurse at the nearby hospital. She sat down by the young man whose call for help started all of this action.
After a couple more minutes of speaking with the young man the Nurse stood up and the Firemen/Paramedics took over and escorted the fellow outside and drove off heading toward the hospital.
When things calmed down I asked the Nurse what I saw. Having worked with troubled youth for several years I perceived that this guy was strung out on Methamphetamines. He was showing all sorts of typical Tweaking behavior. She agreed with me.
The next day our Nurse friend stopped in on her way to work and gave us an update on yesterday’s drama. She reported that, contrary to our observations, the young man’s toxin screen came out clean. There were no drugs in his system. He was not in any physical peril. Unfortunately, at the ER, he became violent with the men who had transported him there and he was turned over to the police and he disappeared into the legal system.
Since then we have heard nothing more.
A sad start to the day.