The symbol for chaos – noun – a state of utter confusion or disorder.
So, I have been away for a few days…lost in remorse, confusion, whole meaning of life.. deep sort of stuff. A recent event has shaken my soul so deeply to the core, I needed a few days before I could even put the event into words. Debated on even writing about it here, but as this outlet has brought much peace to my heart and mind, thought why not.
I have slacked on my tasks for ZerotoHero due to this, but never fear, I don’t ever put down a task without seeing it to an end, so never fear my fellow classmates, you will see me in your feed soon enough. For now, I must get this out of my mind the only way I know how. As always, comments are always welcome.
20:35, alarms are sounding…in my position and circumstance, I must respond to them, my authority where I live asks this of me. Normal response time is less than 5 minutes, check building number, silence alarms, now must trek down to building to check for any emergencies, and call station for false alarm and to not dispatch. Residents in their pajamas great me by name as I walk by them, also in my pajamas. Damn it, of course a light jacket was not enough to keep the breezy night air from penetrating my thread worn pajamas. Once at my destination, was as always is, a kid pulled the alarm, or a false trip. Witnesses saying an adult female pulled it, after fighting with her brother, then ran off. Typical, even adults now-a-days have no sense of responsibility. These alarms are here for EMERGENCIES..get it?
So, now trekking back to the office to call alarm company to not dispatch fire department, and go to maintenance shop to find the reset tool. Thirty minutes later, I am now back in my own apartment, ready for bed, begging for the pillow under my head as the week has worn itself on me. No sooner had I drifted off to sleep, was I jerked awake by the sounds of the alarms once more. Grumbling some obscene words under my breathe, throwing clothes on , arm going through head hole, now pants on inside out, ugghh fingers work the zipper! I am tired of these “cry wolf” scenarios…
I grab the essential, office keys, phone, and of course my mace. The demographics where I reside, well, let’s just say, a girl must always protect herself. My mace comes in handy enough, or like my mom always said, a kick to the nuts and run was fail proof. Now heading out the door, deafened by the pounding sounds of the alarms echoing through the concrete halls, I check my phone. What I thought had only been an hour or two, was actually 04:48 in the morning! Now even more irritated that I could have slept (and really used) that one more hour I would have had.
This time, my maintenance supervisor who also lives on property, met me half way, both of us struggling a good morning under our breath that floated out in the crisp air. We tag team it usually, I go silence, while he resets. Had I known what was about to happen to me, I would much rather have been one of those sleepers that the world could be ending and be oblivious. However, I am not that fortunate, never have been. The next two hours were to etch itself into my memory, I fear for eternity.
As we crossed the parking lot, what appeared to be a belligerent man yelling about the alarms and to call 9-1-1 came stumbling towards us. For privacy purposes, I will call my fellow co-worker, Curtis, yelled at the man to go back inside his home. The man we will call Jared, yelled back he had pulled the alarm, which Curtis retorted, “You can’t pull the fucking alarms,’ its for emergencies, go back in your apartment”….
Now..let us back up a second…..
A short sweet background for you is that the woman who had earlier pulled the alarm, resides in the building this man came from. She lives with her elderly mother, whom allows her to be a squatter there along with the other drug addicts, and down right troublesome characters. If you haven’t clued in yet, I am a property manager for an apartment complex. So, these people have given us issues and problems, and I was looking for any reason to get rid of them, however there are laws in housing that makes it much harder to do that, even if they are bad news.
So, as Curtis turns to proceed to the office, I stop, and turn towards the man who is now about a yard from me. My hands in my pocket, I turn the safety off of my mace…ready for anything really. I do a quick lot check and only see him, but you can never be too cautious. My Sandman’s grogginess effect wearing off, and the alarms still banging my ear drums make for a lot of confusion. When the man, Jared, who had been clutching his arms to his chest, stretches them to his sides…his once crisp white t-shirt, suddenly darkens, instantly, pooling out and making strange patterns across it. “I was stabbed”, he gurgles. Now realizing his demeanor was NOT of a drunken person, but struggles of a man in pain…his original sound of sarcasm was of one who was in shock..and now, I, was the one, in an utter state of chaos.
Frozen, locked in that moment, I wanted to speak but could find no words, I wanted to run, but found myself only staring, I wanted to help but my feet were laced with concrete shoes. There is always the thought of, “What if I was in this moment, what would I do”…well..I panicked, at first. I could see myself almost like an out of body experience. Thoughts flying through my head. Was I asleep, warm in my bed dreaming this horrible scene? No..this is real, I could tell by the frost touching my bare toes in my flip flops. Where the alarms rang in my ears, now only the sound of my heart beating harder than I had ever felt. The adrenaline forcing itself so instantly through my body, that my head felt cold and light as if my body was being lifted off of the ground. My 9mm sitting safely in my apartment, I craved the heaviness of it in my pocket.
Then, a rushing came to my ears, and Curtis’ voice and face as he grabbed me shaking me to call 9-1-1. I came to…I rushed to the man, helped him to sit down, and pressed his hands back to his chest to apply the pressure, slow the severed artery from spilling the blood over unto him. Aware now of my surrounding fully, I am now on the phone with the dispatcher, clearly communicating, and repeating the questions, reporting back to dispatch, check my back, not knowing if the person who had done this would come running to finish the job, and me being a bystander be in that cross fire. Curtis returned to my side with gloves and towels for us. We cared for the man as best as two civilians with zero training could think to do. As we adjusted Jared, with every beat of his heart, the blood flowed from his would, unlike anything I have seen in the movies. The smell, the look, the feel of human blood in the quantity that it was, haunts me..every time I blink, or let my mind wander.
The rest was the clean up, paramedics, fire trucks, police, detectives. Breaking in the door and finding the woman who had earlier caused the disturbance by falsely pulling the alarms with blood on her hands. Her screaming and fighting, the pain in her voice, the pain of her inner demons that were in her she was battling. I couldn’t help but feel absolutely helpless for both of these individuals. I was angry, sad, distraught. Tired and feeling like a semi truck had hit me, finally allowed to leave after giving multiple statements, I got home, and threw myself into the shower. I had been careful to not get blood on me..but as I sat there, letting the heat soak into me, small blood droplets that had splattered on my feet started to wash down the drain..
Bile rose in my throat, and the need to purge was upon me. I scrubbed my body ferociously, trying to remove the whole scene from my mind, erase it…the whirlwind of thoughts in my mind..just wanting them to cease. As soon as I was done, drying off..I had to get back in, the feeling of being impure was still there. No matter how long or hard I washed, or hot the water was, the pictures were etched into my eyes.
The rest of the day carried on, as it had too. Kids were taken to school, but I swear, I do not remember one single traffic light. Phones at work answered, media to direct to PR, clients to serve…and the questions in my head. Where previously, just hearing about a situation like this, I might have different feelings. Might chime in with the rest, “Just another crack head off of the streets”…but, he was a person…he bled, just as any of us would have. He screamed, and moaned in agonizing pain, as would I..he was scared..as would any of us be…
This, ties around to a lovely story I read on Totally Inspired Mind… She writes very elegantly of a boy, Jonathan, who is inspiring..where this story is one of uplifting encouragement, and a palette cleanser to mine, there is a story none the less, which the lesson in itself, I hope you as a reader will find. We MUST recognize each others innocence, and vulnerability as a species. We must find our inner humanitarian..we must “serve one another”, love, care for, show compassion..protect..if we do not..it is all for naught. Please follow this link to the amazing quote from a movie of the late and great Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator, and read the quote of the Jewish Barber..one of my favorites of all times..