by Dr.Joey Only
There was nothing I could do, there was no way I could win, there was no way to escape, it was just me there with him.
He was slumped across the bed with a crack pipe in his hand, his face was kind of blue, I did not understand.
I talked on the cellular phone to an emergency responder, she yelled at me and told me help was over yonder.
She told me to put my fingers in his mouth, she told me to clear his airways out, but he was ugly to me and I didn’t want to touch him, discolored and bald and I tried to get out of it but she was demanding and commanding and yelling that I had to help him.
I was with him in this room, I was talking on the phone, I was doing the best I could cause I was all alone, it was like a nightmare and it was dark in there, no sunshine came in the room and I felt a dark gloom overtaking me some.
When I put my fingers in his mouth I tried to clear his airway out, I told her on the phone that he was way beyond my help.
She pressured me to do it, scoop out all his puke but his jaws wouldn’t move and I knew he would never come to, I told the operator there was nothing more I could do, but she wouldn’t let me stop till the ambulance and cops arrived there at the top to mop the body up.
She wouldn’t let me quit, when I tried she gave me shit, she yelled at me to do it, put my hands on his chest and count aloud as I compressed.
11,12,13,14,15, and again and again.
I felt his ribs were cracking because he was so stiff, he was never coming back and I already knew it, she wouldn’t let me stop, she wouldn’t let me quit, every time I tried she gave me shit and said get to it!
With each series of compressions I came closer to my depression, his heart would never pump again while mine would soon be broken.
Twenty rounds I must have done, puke flew out of his cold mouth and trickled down his face, the smell stunk up the place, I knew that he was gone but she wouldn’t let me be, she made me do the CPR, it was just him and me, a tiny room with this lifeless body.
It was an average sunny day, it was a west coast fall Sunday, in the old down town east side, another day where another crackhead died, it took me a few days before I realized that I was traumatized and cried and cried while nightmares passed before my sleeping eyes at night.
She forced me to continue when I knew I didn’t have to, I wondered about my life, what have I become this time, in a big cities ghetto side I walk with death and life, carry myself with mysterious pride.
With each chest compression I wondered what am I doing here? He was just another number in another average year, someone must pick up the trash, somehow it came to pass that I was that man with his dead crack head in my hands, it was my fate to find this body, it was my place and could not escape, everyone dies and everyone is found some day by some one with a heart and face who must feel your death in a very real and tangible way.
The paramedics filled the room, they couldn’t have come any sooner, they took a look at him and knew he was a goner, they told me what I already knew, they told me there was nothing I could do, the told me he was gone, maybe several hours long, they said to me ‘good job’ and they said ‘you did the right thing son.’
But I didn’t feel right when I took my last look at him, I didn’t feel good, I didn’t feel nothin, it took a few days for my wound to open, it was a little while till I knew I was heartbroken.
They told me I did a good job but I couldn’t hear it, I knew that it was all pointless what I did, I didn’t want to have to do it, she wouldn’t let me quit, when I tried she gave me shit.
He was so ugly and dead, I knew it in my heart, I knew it in my head, she wouldn’t let me quit, I did just what she said, I paid for it in the end, my friends couldn’t understand what happened, I went to their Thanksgiving dinner, pretended I was glad to be in there, pretended it was just a normal day, I didn’t say a word, I pretended I’m okay, at the Thanksgiving dinner only several hours later, I held all the terror in, I even numbed it with heroin.