Friday, March 11, 2011

And the Waters Rage

It feels like spring time here in northern New England. Somewhat of a relief where road ice and blocked rain gutters are concerned yet still, I weep for the waning snow and all the fun we had this year. A day of rain and a heavy snow pack is swelling all the rivers and threatening to flood the low lying areas but it's nothing compared to what Japan is going through right now.

Disasters that strike with no warning are usually the hardest to comprehend, especially when all you can do is watch youtube videos as fishing boats and mini vans are swept under bridges in torrents of rushing water. Just the other day I was almost witness to a disaster while waiting for the train at north station in Boston.

After my third and last trip to Ikea (Completely outfitting my home has taken the better part of four years) my girlfriend and I stopped in Boston to take her son to the Aquarium. After parking we all held hands and descended the stairwells to take the T into town. Her son never having been on the T before was probably a little excited and a little apprehensive to be among so many people at once.

Just as the speakers announced the approaching orange line train a commotion began a hundred feet further up the platform. As I peered over the edge and down the rail bed I could see a large man staring at the ground absolutely dazed. Turning my head in the other direction the headlights of the approaching train were all ready illuminating the rails as people began rushing towards the conductor frantically waving and screaming for her to stop the train. Without much thought involved I turned and began sprinting down the station pushing shocked and sedentary bystanders out of my way.

As I approached the group of people all ready trying to pull the guy back onto the platform I was sure the train was moments away from hitting him. With both my girl friend and I heaving on his coat the combined power of four or five complete strangers yanked three hundred pounds of dead weight up and over the yellow line as the train came to a stop 30 feet short of what could have been a grizzly scene.

Every heart was pounding as people slowly backed away from the man, now prostrate on the concrete bleeding heavily from his forehead. I was relieved to see the guy trying to stop the flow of blood with his own hand so I knew he was conscious and somewhat alert. Taking what was available from those around me I applied a wad of tissues to his laceration and told him to keep pressure on the wound.

By the time I had coaxed his first name out of him transit personnel had arrived on scene and were radioing for a paramedic. With nothing left to do but give a witness statement, of which there were plenty standing around, we boarded the train and thanked our stars that my girlfriend's son had not witnessed anything more than his mom save save a clumsy man's life.

It was such a rush to switch from bee bopping around the subway without a care in the world to screaming at the top of my lungs "For f$%#ks sake pull harder" to a group of people I had never met. The real credit goes to the conductor who managed to put the emergency break on in time to stop short of where the guy had fallen. Those trains pull in fast but they also stop just as quick.

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