Sometimes I know that I should write but then I just don’t. Maybe I don’t feel inspired. Maybe I am too tired. Maybe I am just lazy. And sometimes when in these moods. Things happen. Things that should make me spring into writing action. But maybe I still don’t. This is where I was today. There was an urban legendy event that occurred in our apartment the other day that should have had me burning up the keyboard. But it didn’t. And, then the universe, being upset at its drama not being enough to get me to sit down in front of my laptop, decided to get real. And it worked. Because here I am. Writing.
So I could go into the tale (ha, tale) of the rat that was swimming around in my toilet when I woke up the other day. But I didn’t write about that right after it happened. And now, something else occurred. Something that was bursting out of me in words while driving home. While shopping. While eating. There was no not writing tonight. Head wound trumps rats.
Tonight was a boot camp night. I love boot camp. For the camaraderie as much as the exercise. I feel like the laughs are as important as the kettle bell swings. The location was Kakaako Waterfront Park for this work out. Point Panic to be exact. It is an area with a large homeless population. Tents line one of the streets close to the parking lot. There are people hanging out in the park. In the parking lot. They don’t bother. There are also lots of other people walking. Or running. It is crowded. It is pretty. And there is a South swell.
So when a young homeless woman came barreling down the hill from the parking lot on a bike with no brakes, she ended up hitting two women who were walking alongside the wall down by the ocean. I witnessed the accident from afar and it looked pretty brutal. The bike came down so fast and there were bodies flying. One of the walkers ended up on the ground. Her friend and a passerby helped her sit up but she could not get up. Her friend was then on her phone clearly calling 911.
Our coach sent us over to see if they needed anything. Arriving at the same time was a fire captain or chief and he quickly took control of the situation. If there is ever a situation, you want someone from the Honolulu Fire Department on the scene. He had a towel and applied pressure to what was a pretty bloody head wound. He talked to the injured woman. He did an assessment of her condition. She seemed relatively alert by that time and he laid down on the ground, head to head with her to apply the pressure. He reassured the friend that he thought that she was going to be OK. That the head bleeds a lot and that it seemed that it was stopping.
The young woman who had hit her on the bike was not injured. I think that she was completely afraid that she was going to get in trouble. She told our coach that she was living in a tent on the road with her sister. And that the bike did not belong to her.
Waiting for the ambulance, it seemed like it took forever, but I know it was not forever. The police came and took statements but it was an accident. It was bad timing. Bad decisions. Just bad. But difficult to place fault. But I could feel the blame and the fault being placed. On this young homeless woman. With the borrowed bike with no brakes. Driving away afterwards, I thought that if she had not been homeless, that the incident would have been more accepted as an accident. I wondered if the girl on the bike had been hurt, if that would have changed the feel at the scene. It very well may have. But she seemed fine. And that helped to more easily place the blame and direct anger towards her.
Coach talked to the girl on the bike the entire time. She got her to stick around for the police to take a statement. I am certain this was not easy for the girl to do. With her borrowed bike. Coach took a look at the bike and basically said it was falling apart. She reattached the front brake cables so that it at least had some capacity to stop. She told the girl that she should get it fixed. The girl was mostly silent. We all knew that the bike would not be fixed.
The ambulance guys checked the woman’s head wound, bandaged it up and the HPD guy (who knew the paramedics) went up and grabbed a gurney out of the ambulance. They helped her up and attended to her for a while. The friend was extremely upset throughout the entire incident and ended up riding to Queen’s in the ambulance.
When we walked back to our cars, the spot where it had occurred was rinsed down. I did not see the EMTs do this but they must have because there was a fair amount of blood around. And if you were not there you would not have known that anything had happened.
I am ever thankful for the gentleman from the HFD tonight who, as these types often do, came running to the scene of an awful thing when most people want to run in the other direction. I believe that the injured woman will be fine, in part due to his actions.
And I feel sorry for the girl on the bike. I wish that I could say that my reaction to her would have been the same regardless of whether or not she was homeless. But I am not sure that is true. If the bicyclist had been a guy on a fancy bike in full on biking gear, I feel like he would have been treated with less blame and less fault. This bothers me. It means that the girl on the bike was less good and less deserving. I don’t like the fact that this was my thought process. I was not the only one but I was one. I don’t want to be one. I want to be better than that. I am unsure what that translates to but I am hoping it translates to something.