Friday, December 16, 2011

The Least Expected Turn of Events

Yesterday I saw a dead person at Lake Murray. Eighteen days ago I was trapped in a Laundromat while police pointed their guns at two scary looking criminals. Now this. Who knew that moving to La Mesa would be filled with so much drama?

I met my friend Kaley at 10am for a walk around Lake Murray. We were on our way back down the trail when it happened. Kaley had just finished telling me about an argument her and her husband had gotten into over her negative attitude towards their new puppy. We were both laughing hard the moment I saw him.

He was lying face down on the ground; a woman was attempting to roll him over onto his back. I grabbed Kaley's arm. She was still laughing. She hadn't seen him yet. "Stop," I whispered. I motioned towards the man. The two of us paused for a second, unsure of what to do. We walked towards them. There was blood coming out of his head. A thick pool of it ran down the path and puddled into the grass. His face was bloody too.

A petite gray haired woman with a white button-down shirt was attempting to resuscitate him. She was rhythmically pushing on his chest the way they do in movies. Every now and then a loud frightening gargling sound would come from his throat.

"Is he alive?" she kept asking. I was afraid to get too close. There was so much blood. A woman in a track suit stepped in it. She left a bloody shoe print. I couldn;t stop starring at it.

"I can't get a pulse. Can anyone feel a pulse?" She asked calmly. Another woman took his pulse "I think he's dead." she said. The gray hair lady kept pushing. "Hello, are you there." she kept saying to the man as if she were speaking into a telephone with a bad connection.

There were other people with us, maybe 5 or 6 standing around trying to be helpful.

He had dead eyes. His skin was blue. Definitely dead.

"He was walking in front of us and just stumbled. He fell down hard straight on his face, just like that." A woman told a man in spandex that had stopped to help.

Kaley and I called 911. The operator told me to calm down and give her the facts. I didn't really know the facts, and I thought I was being calm.

It took the paramedics 15 minutes to get there. He was long dead at that point. The petite woman in the white shirt never stopped thumping on his chest. Her dedication at attempting to save him was eerily beautiful.

Afterward Kaley and I walked in silence back to our cars. After about 5 minutes she started to giggle. I did too. We were cracking up--doubled over laughing.

"I don't think it's funny, none if this is funny." she said choking back a chuckle.

"Me either. It is so sad and terrible. I'm an inappropriate laugher. I can't help it" I laughed

"I feel so weird and uncomfortable that laughing is my only coping mechanism." her laughter was loud and nervous sounding.

"There is something wrong with us." I said.

"I know." She agreed

We pulled it together and managed to act civilized. People kept stopping us to ask what was going on. Why were there so many police cars and ambulances, they wanted to know. We had to tell the story over and over until Kaley decided to just start saying: "There is a dead guy over there." That answer was oddly the easiest to give and required the less information and retelling of the events. "You have zero bedside manners." I told her. She went into a giggle fit again and apologized for being such a mess. "I have never seen a dead body before." she said.

We decided that next time we will meet for coffee and avoid hiking trails.

Kaley has decided that she will never go to Lake Murray again because according to her, if she fell she would die because the paramedics are far too slow to respond. I don't know about me. I think I'll be back, eventually.

Meanwhile, I can't stop thinking about the dead guy. What was his name, I wonder. How did his family take the news? I wonder if he had been sick or if his death was a freak accident. I am saddened that their Christmas will be filled with tragedy. I have been saying prayers for his family all day long.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

How did I not hear about this? Insane!