Thursday, November 22, 2007
another day closes
I alighted at my local bus stop (Khar Khorin Market) from a crowded microbus returning from work, and was bid good-bye by a particularly friendly conductor. I saw at the edge of the cold and crowded pavement a fellow, younger than I, but roughly dressed, spreadeagled on his back. Rough sleepers usually choose a warmer pose and some sunlight, given the sub-zero air temperature. I wondered if the man had been injured or had been the victim of a traffic accident, and looked on to see if he was breathing, as bus conductors and passers-by gestured not to look at him. One other young male bystander in the crowd seemed to share my concern and indicated he was phoning for 'a doctor' - he agreed to help me turn the casualty into what I understand from my basic first aid as a 'recovery position'. I felt for some faint warm breath at his nose, but there was no pulse and he was becoming colder. The traffic policeman attended but showed no interest in touching or moving the body. My collaborator gestured resolutely that we should say prayers.