Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Delivery Boy

He is a delivery boy. At least, that's how everyone sees him. No one thinks of him as a delivery man because that just doesn't have the same ring to it. No, delivery boy it is. And as a delivery boy, one of his duties is to take packages from the store and bring them to the houses of those who ordered them. This he does by mounting his bicycle and pedaling off down the busy Manhattan streets, the wind blowing in his face. He is young, for a man, and carefree. These rides down Lexington avenue remind him of his dreams, his aspirations, the life that awaits him when he can scrape together enough money to go to back to college and finish his business degree.

Better than the ride to make the deliveries, though, is the ride back. The package is gone from his bike. He is light, he can do anything, he could fly. He really could, if he wanted, like in E.T. when the boys and the alien fly on their own bicycles across the moon. The delivery boy casts a glance up at the sky, his mind already there, when there is a sharp screech and then BAM.

Something has hit his bicycle. He vaguely notices that it is a dirty yellow car - a taxi? It doesn't seem to matter as he flips and tumbles on the street, tangled in his bike, and comes to a stop just before hitting the sidewalk. There he lies, dazed, as the pedestrians on the sidewalk freeze in their tracks and stare at him. Won't one of them come to help? Finally a woman does, hesitantly at first, clutching her pocket book tightly, and then more sure of herself, going swiftly to him and bending down, lifting the bicycle from atop the delivery boy. He sits up, leaning on an arm, the other one seeming a bit useless - is it broken? He can't tell. He just stares, in shock, in a daze, his mind slowly returning to him from the skies.

This is what I saw walking back from the school building just half an hour ago. It was possibly one of the more frightening things I've seen in my life, though I can't say I've seen very many frightening things, especially if you don't count the week I was in Poland two years ago. I, of course, made up the history of the delivery boy, but the scenario was the same. One moment, there was a man on a bicycle, the next he was hit by a taxi and lying next to the curb with his bicycle on top of him. The woman went to help him (there were a bunch of other people there, too) and I finally got hold of myself and ran back to my dorm, all shaken up. I actually saw him get hit, I saw him tumbling on the street with his bike, I saw his dazed, vacant expression as he sat up. There was no blood and he was conscious, that's all I know.

Needless to say, I am now quite freaked out.


Scraps said...

Oh my goodness. That's such a scary thing to witness, no wonder you're shaken up.

Ezzie said...

Ouch. That's one of those situations that make you feel like you're just watching, and even though your mind is telling you to go do something, your body is just frozen.

Anonymous said...

I think it's called bystander apathy...everyone just stands around, thoughts racing between, "oh, goodness, i should really go and do something..." and "i don't wanna look stupid, why isn't anyone else doing anything?!" It seems silly that we should care so much (even subconsciously) about what others will think of us...

the apple said...

Oh my. That is very shocking. I hope you're okay. Like Ezzie said, it's almost an out-of-body experience: you can't believe that it's actually happening and that you see it, so you don't move.

Did they call 911 or something?