I got a phone call asking if I knew who he was. My number was the only number on his phone. He was unconscious and bleeding by the side of the road.

I gave them a name and a medical history.

And got on with my day with tears in my eyes.

He chose this…and he didn’t.

He decided his fate, and it took far too long to reach this point. What is the point of torturing a man with life when he is past broken? There is no one who can take care of him. He wrecked himself. He almost wrecked me too.

Yet the thought of him on the side of the road, bleeding and confused, not knowing his name, dying, is too much to bear.

The good samaritan put him in their car instead of calling an ambulance. In some elemental reaction against being taken to a hospital he threw himself out of the car and started walking. It is like he cannot die. They called me up and said sorry. Told me he was on ___Street and if I wanted to call for help for him. I can’t. I have many times and the cops don’t give a shit, and the ambulance treats him like a drunk instead of a man with a broken neck, a brain tumor and endstage liver failure.

This is how we treat the sick and dying in America if they are poor. This is what happens to the box car riders, the bums and the hustlers, the musicians and the artists and the freaks, when in stead of hitting the big time, they die in a ditch with a liverfull of poison and a good samaritan without the brains to call the cops or an ambulance. He is uncontrollable. “I don’t want to be put in a bad situation” she bleated. Well then drive on by, bitch. Drive on by, and don’t call me demanding I do things for a man that I have tried to do things for, for over twenty years, and lay that bad situation onto me.

I am going to go out to the bay and watch the ships sailing. I am going to go out to the bay and watch the sea lions lazing. I am going to go out to the bay and walk by the water that he hated so much. California. Water. Sand. Happiness. Tourist traps. I am going to go out to the bay and breathe the air and enjoy myself and I will not feel guilty for it. This is his end. Not mine.


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