Monday, April 20, 2009

What to do?

I didn't hear what she was originally saying. I was hurrying home with dinner on my mind, she was sitting in a corner facing away from me and the wind and rain and street made whatever she was saying unintelligible. Hell, all I can tell you about her is that she had dark hair and wore a green or blue shirt (It's already fading away).

It was when I reached the road ten paces in front of where she was seated that her voice rose. "You did not ....(it was still garbled)...Are you a decent guy? What the fuck....supposed to...How am I.... How the fuck..."

All this I could hear as I was crossing over to the other side, which speaks both for the volume of said subject's voice and my desire to get away from a fellow human being in distress. Years of living in India, after all, have not gone to waste.

I looked back when I had reached the other side. She was saying something I could not hear. I couldn't see if she was speaking. What I could see was her head sunken and shoulders shaking.

She might have been talking to her father. Her brother. Her friend. Her boyfriend, fiancee or husband. Hell, for all I know, her pimp or drug dealer (this is unlikely btw, seeing as she looked like a college student). But to hear her speak and see her break down made me sympathetic.

What should I have done? Gone back across and admitted I heard her conversation? Come off as a voyeur? A possible creep? What would I have said to make the thing better? What COULD I have done? Tell me if something occurs to you.

It's a question we ask ourselves every now and then. And it's never pleasant when we do.

3 comments:

Akshay Rajagopalan said...

I wouldn't go so far as to call it voyeuristic or creepy. I guess whenever we see or hear something unusual or dramatic, we just get curious. I don't think you could've said anything to make it better; for all you know she might have just said "Mind your own goddamn business"!

Akshay Rajagopalan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
2d said...

The max. anyone could have said in that moment, in that rain was 'hey, you ok there?' but you might get the treatment Akshay pointed out.