Saturday, December 5, 2009

So There I Was... - 2

The trip home from Baguio was a nice change from the normal. We left early so if nothing unusual happened, we would make it home while there was still daylight. Also it was not raining. Often we arrive home after dark and often in the rain. Things were looking good.

So there I was on the bus home from Baguio... As usual, we stopped along the way to drop-off and pick-up passengers. We were about 30 minutes from Bontoc. At the previous stop we had taken on a loud and talkative older man. I had guessed that he was rather drunk. As we stopped again, he got off the bus. Immediately afterward, the man in the seat across from me jumped up and ran out of the bus. When I looked out, I saw the man had fallen. After making the large step down from the bus, it appears he kept on going and went off the edge of the pavement and down to the ground several feet below.

People were trying to get him up. My EMT training screamed, "Don't move him!" But it was too late for that. I got out of the bus in time to help lift him up to the pavement. He had some scrapes on his forehead and some skin on his nose had been scraped off. There were no marks on his hands, so it did not seem he had even tried to catch himself. We put him back on the bus for a trip to the hospital in Bontoc.

On the bus when I tried to assess him for injury, he became somewhat combative. Fortunately, because he was so drunk when he took a couple of swings at me I was able to dodge them. After a while, he settled down. Although the alcohol is probably the cause of his injury, it also kept him from feeling too much pain.

As the bus driver sped over the broken road and around the turns to get the man to the hospital, I sat next to the man. Based on the laughter, everyone on the bus enjoyed the conversation. Once I stopped trying to see how badly he might be hurt, he felt remorse for his earlier attempts to drain a little blood from my nose as well. He began to repeatedly and loudly say, "I'm sorry," and, "I love you!" He let me know he was drunk - painfully obvious at this point. He even wanted to sing a song with me - he sang the first line for me. He said of himself that he was a great drunk and the man across the aisle, his brother, was a great lover. The "brother" did not claim any relation to him. All of the threads of conversation were loud and repeated.

Well, we eventually got him to the hospital. He was not eager to accept any help off the bus. But he eventually let me help him down the steps and into the hands of those down below. I could not hear him anymore, but I could see he kept up the conversation with whoever was pushing his wheelchair into the hospital.


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