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How Helping a Stranger With a Severed Finger Saved My Life

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ChristopherBlackwell Post number 25861 Posted: 13th September 2019     Subject: How Helping a Stranger With a Severed Finger Saved My Life
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How Helping a Stranger With a Severed Finger Saved My Life
I was suicidally depressed, until a bloody emergency reminded me what I'm capable of. |

Kim Porter
This is Treat Street, a sturdy little avenue that runs across San Francisco, through the Mission District, and ends at Precita Park. But if you go around Precita Park, you’ll find this one last alpine block of Treat, at the top of which I now sit with my ‘C’-shaped spine, aching and navel-gazing. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a man approaching and I think, “Oh, great. Now what? ” This is what you think when you’ve been a pedestrian in San Francisco for too long. Eight percent of men who approach you on the street are seeking directions to Fisherman’s Wharf, but the other 92 percent want to weave a sorry-ass tale that insults your intelligence before asking for money, or trying to touch your boob. And now that I have a kid to protect, I like strange men even less.

“Por favor. Call 911, ” the man says. “Finger. Cut. ” He authenticates his succinct claim by holding up his blood-streaked fore-arm. With his left hand, he is clenching a wad of handkerchief around his right pinky.

I feel certain this is a scam and want to tell him to piss off, but I’ve never seen this bloody forearm ploy before, and I don’t know how it plays out. “No. Have. Phone. ” I say, as if English is also my second language.

“Have phone, ” he says and dips his chin toward his front pants pocket.

I don’t want to stick my hand in there, but I have no proof this is a con job, and the blood does look real, so I gesture for my kid to stay on the stoop and I move toward him. Maybe there isn’t even a pocket in there, I think, maybe it’s just a hole and I’m going to touch his penis. Or maybe as soon as my hand is inside he’ll snatch my wrist and steal my money, kidnap my kid, and touch my boob.

In his pocket, I find a flip-phone. I slip it out and step back out of arms’ reach.

I stare at the phone. “I don’t know how to use it. ” Which is true. Even though it’s 2004, I have never used a cellphone before.

He grits his teeth and lifts his face to scan the street for anyone else – besides this stupid lady – to help him. He’s shit out of luck, this street is deserted and I’m all he’s got. He takes a deep breath, steps toward me and points with the pinky of his good hand at the button marked “talk. ” As I press the nine, the one, and the one, I think, Finally! I’ve always wondered when I would get to call 911.

The operator answers and after I give her the address I say, “I’m here with this guy, and he says he cut his finger. ”

“Is it bad? ” the operator asks me, being a better person than I, she doesn’t immediately doubt the veracity of his claim.

“Is it bad? ” I ask him.

“Si. ”

“It’s bad, ” I tell her.

“Did he cut it off? ”

Now there’s a question I hadn’t thought of. “Did you cut it off? ”

“Si. ” He sighs, relieved someone finally understands the gravity of his situation.
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Wisdom is what is left after you have done all the dumb stuff
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