They Left Her There

Hyun Chung 2002

After I get off the train, I have to cross the railroad tracks to get to my Jeep.

The crossing itself isn’t bad, the pavement is smooth and the rails are almost flush with the ground so it’s not like you have to step up to avoid them. When it snows and it gets icy it’s a little sketchy because they don’t sand or de ice the pavement  and if you’re not careful you could slip and get hurt.

Yesterday I was crossing the tracks with about a half dozen other people when a lady in a wheel chair got stuck on one of the rails.

Two people were walking ahead of her

The lady’s wheel chair wasn’t a  motorized wheel chair, in fact it was bare bones and well used. Somehow her front wheel, which is a small wheel, got turned sideways and she got caught.

Just before I got to her, you could hear the next train blow it’s whistle which meant that in a few minutes the crossing arms where going to come down.

You would THINK that the people who were around her would have given her a little push to help her, but they did not.

I watched four  Puyallup’s  big strong men walk  around her and leave  stuck on the tracks, clearly struggling with her chair with a  train coming.

I could see that she was starting to panic and just as I got to her to give her a little boost she backed up and got herself out of the rut and we crossed the rest of the

way together.

On other days sometimes we chat a little when I’m waiting for the train but yesterday  as we crossed together she  didn’t ask me how my dog was. She also said

she got  worried because she knew the  train was coming, not because of the whistle but she could feel the ground vibrate and she knew it was coming in fast.

When we got to the other side, three of the men who walked around her felt obligated to say something as they waited to cross the street-  ” Oh were you stuck? “

I wanted to say something grand and bitchy, but the lady in the chair raised up her hand and gave him the finger.

For a moment there it felt like those four men who left he stuck on the tracks had hit the delete key on the Universe and the lady in the chair disappeared.

But she didn’t.

Yesterday she became one of my un-deletable  heroes.

RDP Wednesday: DELETE

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