Obla Di

I went to Starbucks this morning to work on Five Truths and a Lie and maybe do some writing. I had cleaners at my house and needed to gone for a couple hours.

When I drove to Starbucks, there was the perfect parking space in front. I steered into the spot with most pristine perfect parallel parking job I have ever executed. The success made me audibly giggle with glee. I walked over to the 2-hour parking meter and it had 1:57 still remaining. That meant that someone had done a random act of kindness. They had paid it forward. What a neat thing!

I set myself up at Starbucks with a table by the window. Outside the window is a seating area for the coffee shop. I begin tooling around the Internet, looking out the window every once in a while. At one point, I look up and I see a couple of Starbucks employees helping a woman up that had just fallen.

It was a homeless woman. She had a walker with her, the kind you can sit on, although she looked only to be in her 40’s or 50’s. The employees got her up in a chair in the seating area and one was holding a cloth to her head, it seemed that the woman had hurt her neck and cracked her head open. No gloves on, just trying to do the right thing. I have to say, those employees were being very caring and attentive.

There was a helmet on her walker. The kind people wear when they have a medical condition so it seemed that she had something preexisting going on as well. The woman just sat there with her eyes closed, shaking (the shaking seemed like it wasn’t anything new) with her hand wrapped around a pack of cigarettes like a mechanical claw that would never release.

She had mousy, stringy brown hair to her shoulders. Her face was over tanned and looked like it had seen plenty of liquor in her lifetime. Her skin was chapped and cracked all over.

The fire station is right across the street so the paramedics arrived immediately. There were about 5 of them. They all put their blue gloves on and began questioning the woman about how she felt. One paramedic carefully put a neck brace on her and then continued to hold her head. They even hooked her up to a vitals machine. After 20 minutes, the paramedics decided she was stable enough to bring her to the hospital and brought the stretcher out.

They begin to help the woman stand up and she literally goes crazy. She starts screaming at the paramedics and fighting them with her arms and legs kicking and punching, never letting go of the cigarettes. The police are called. They try to speak to her. She’s still yelling. They decide to put her on the stretcher with force. They did this while she screamed and put restraints on her. They rolled her over to the ambulance. They never tried to pry those cigarettes from her hand. That was one battle where they gave her the win. Off they went to the hospital.

There had been a Los Angeles thin woman standing near the incident the entire time. After the paramedics leave she begins instructing the Starbucks employees to arrange the tables differently where the homeless woman fell down and was treated. They did so diligently. She kept pointing and trying different arrangements. All while the police were still standing there getting their notes in order.

I thought maybe she was a Starbucks exec that was there making sure everything was okay, for lawsuit reasons. It turns out that she was waiting for that group of tables to become available because she had an afternoon business meeting and promotion going on in that seating area.

During the next 45 minutes, all these women with slick, hip business attire arrive and sit down in the seating area and start having samples of some health drink that they are promoting. The thin woman also has a really good looking guy start to give samples to people walking by.

All this is happening in the exact spot where a woman had fallen, cracked her head open and had to be taken away in restraints. It’s disturbing to me. It’s not these women’s fault and they are not evil because of it. It just struck me as weird. They have no clue. I continued to watch from inside and looked at the chair where the homeless woman was attended to and subdued. Sitting in that chair, looking bored to death, is a young professional woman with some killer caramel colored boots, a pink manicure and long blonde extensions. She has no idea what went down in that chair.

And here I sit inside Starbucks with my latte and fruit snack after dropping my dog off at “daycare” and waiting for other people to clean my house. Getting excited over a great parking spot and thinking I’m awesome for pulling off a perfect parallel parking job. I’m an ass. A huge ass.

And now I have to put this aside and begin working on what I came here for. I have a deadline.

Life goes on.

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