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.