- RDP Tuesday: CHAOS
- This is a true story- it happened last week.
My commute home on the train is ugly.
The view is ugly.
The platform smells like the garbage trains that run through on their way to the dump a few miles down the line- but it’s doesn’t always smell like trash, sometimes it smells like pee because the homeless guys whiz down around the tracks or in the one elevator to the street above. I don’t use it for that reason.
So it smells ugly.
I like to talk to a couple of people so there is that one bright spot but most of the time I play word games on my phone or read a book.
The only shake up to this gray and grim ride home is when someone steps in front of the train and dies.
I’ve been on least three trains where this has happened, and if I’m not on the train then it happens on the train that headed out twenty minutes before mine.
One of my co-workers says that is weird but the reality is I take the second train out in the afternoon. Personally I think people step in front of the early trains in the morning and afternoon because they want to get their day over with before it starts or before nightfall.
So last Thursday I was on my way home, playing my word game when I heard that hiss and felt the train sort of glide and those two things combined can only mean one thing- the engineer had hit the emergency brakes.
Most of the people in the car I ride in- and because people sort of stake out a territory have been on the train together when ‘ a medical emergency ‘ has occured. That’s what the alerts say when someone has been hit by a train.
Some guy made a joke about farts and someone else said, “those are the emergency breaks, we hit something ”
Our Conductor put his emergency vest on and when he walked by me I looked up and saw his face. He was going to go out there and see body parts- and unless you’re job deals with death- you will never, ever get used to it.
I really felt sorry for him, but he got off the train and went to check the situation.
We had been chatting for about 10 or 15 minutes when we saw a fire truck pull up and then we saw-
” What the Hell is that doing here?”
I figured I would look up and see the freakjobs that like to walk along the tracks after someone has been hit and take pictures of the remains- but when I looked up I saw- and I had to ask myself if that was what I was seeing-
there was a paramedic truck with it’s lights flashing and they where popping out of the truck with their gear.
” Are they still alive? How is that possible? ”
The air around me went from being somewhat subdued to feeling confused and slightly chaotic.
I mean. It’s a good question. How do you step in front of a train and not die?
The lady who got hit was almost in front of the train and the engineer hit his horn.
I don’t know if she was trying to cut across the tracks like a lot of people in that neighborhood do and she didn’t hear the train but saw it at the last minute. Or maybe she intended to be there and changed her mind.
I was told she turned and it looked like she was trying to step back but those rocks along the tracks are slippery and unless you’re wearing the right shoes it’s really hard to get your footing.
The train threw her through the air and over one of those ugly gravel banks we go by everyday but there has been a change to the ugly view from my train.
We’ve been having rain storms and it’s been flooding.
What’s normally on the other side of this particular gravel bank is a patch of land full of garbage and rotting vegetation and standing fetid water.
But on this day it was full of water , the ground under the water was soft and muddy and that’s what this lady landed in.
There’s a theory going around that may have saved her life.
When they found her the woman’s leg was shattered- and those were the injuries that you could see.
One of the people who helped her said she was out of it, but that she was trying to sit up. I guess she was still trying to get away.
That’s the thing about life, it will try to keep moving against incredible odds.