I didn't realize something was wrong because NOBODY had stopped. And I didn't have my glasses on so for a second I thought she was petting her little black dog.
But the woman next to me said, "They just walked by her!" And we both rushed over to her and that little black dog was her purse she was clutching and she was trying to stand but she was crying because it hurt too much and I remembered at least one important word from my bad long-ago Spanish and I told her to sit back down. The woman next to me called 911 and just then a young woman wearing scrubs stopped.
I said, "Are you from Beth Israel?"
She said, "No, NYU." And she knelt down, speaking almost perfect Spanish, while the woman next to me was telling the police operator, "No, not me. This woman fell down... "
And the three of us stayed with her, me waving down the ambulance coming from Third Avenue, the taxis not stopping because you only wave an ambulance down like that.
And after the doctor told the EMT guys what had happened in the proper medical words, we waited until she was on the gurney before we said in English and then in Spanish, "Que se mejor a pronto."
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.