Man down...Woodward Ave.
Saturday night December 13, 2008, I was on my way to visit Athena…(greedy greedy greedy)..and I stopped by Skinny and Dondo's place to pick up items Skinny had ready to give to me for the homeless.
She was not there when I arrived but there were two Huge bags of items for me to pick up and I mean huge bags! It took everything I had to lift one of them! Dondo helped me load them into my jeep!
As I left I realized I was hungry so I thought I would go to Avalon but I figured it was like 5:00 they would not be open and I really did not feel like zig zagging across streets to get there..i was tired from 2 hours at the gym. So I thought of Zaccaro's the fancy grocer on Woodward that no one I was collecting items for could ever afford and which I can barely. And if they were not open then I would zig zag to Avalon on my way to the highway…yes this was my thought process.
So as I am heading south on Woodward the car in front of me swerves out of the left lane we are traveling in into the turn lane and then into oncoming traffic. Holy shit what the fuck are they doing I think as I thankfully look back at the road just in fucking time to look out the windshield and register that is a human in front of my jeep on the ground.
I slam on my brakes fly into the left turn lane following the car in front of me to pull up right next to it as it is still in the lane of on-coming north bound traffic. I stop my car, grab my phone and get out. I ask the guy next looking at me from the car next to me if he will come with me. He looks at me like I am a fucking crazy white girl. I implore him to please come with me to see if he is ok and I tell him I don't want to do it alone.
He gets out and follows behind me. The snow is blowing hard now and at my back as I approach the figure in the middle of the road. He is laying flat on his back and I could tell he was not homeless. His shoes were in good condition as were his pants and he had on a carhart with the hood up and a cap on. He also had on a backpack.
The snow was blowing in his face and I walked out to and knelt down next to him with cars heading directly toward us with there lights blinding me, thank god people stopped. I prayed quicker and faster than I ever have that he was not dead but for some reason I knew he was not. I asked him if he had been hit, he made no noise. I asked again, he mustered a quiet, 'no'. I could tell he had been there for a bit as he was wet and you could see snow clinging though had not yet accumulated.
I asked him if he would like to get up, he told me no. I asked him if he was hurt, and he did not answer me then I lightly but firmly placed my hand on his chest and asked him again, 'are you hurt?' Though I 'felt' he was not I also 'felt' he was. A tear rolled out of his eye and he said 'yes', I told him he was gonna be ok and asked if he wanted me to call 911. He said no, I asked if he had any where to go, he said 'no' I asked him again if he wanted me to call 911, he said yes cuz he needed somewhere to go.
People had started to gather two different people in cars were calling 911 and yelling at me for street names…I yelled back Seldon. I told him people were calling 911 for him because they cared. He told me he had no where to go.
I asked him if that was why he was in the road, he mustered a weak yes. I asked him if he wanted to get hit, he shrugged and then said no. I told him I would have felt very badly had I hit him. I asked him his name and told him mine. I ran to my car and got a blanket and covered him up and sat next to him on Woodward and shielded his face from the driving snow as I lightly stroked his eye brows and told him help was coming. thank you skinny for the blanket!! Someone else gave a blanket as well.
I could here the ambulance and I must admit it was very quick that they arrived. It was a police officer who came up behind me first as I was knelt real close to Rodneys face talking to him. when I looked up the line of cars where backing up on Woodward and some where trying to get around anyway they could. He moved his leg at this time which was a good sign to me especially since someone yelled at me not to move him.
The officer asked if he was alive, I told him yes and his name. He asked Rodney if he had been hit he told him no, he asked if he had been shot, that never even crossed my mind and when he mumbled what sounded like a yes I felt so naïve for some reason. The medics showed up at this time & threw the blankets off of him and started to move him around.
I was standing at this time and the cop says behind me, "ah too much remy tonight" and I shoot him a look, he shrugged. I imagine you would have to have a bit of a cynical attitude to protect yourself cuz I knew my heart was aching and if that were my job every night…oh boy. And to be totally honest he did smell of alcohol but not until I was right next to him talking to him could I smell it and I have a pretty good nose.
I am at this time standing next to a woman who I ask if she was the one who pulled over with me and I hug and thank her when she says yes. Her name was Jackie, shes a postal worker, she also gave him the other blanket. The cop asked her to move her car at this time as its still in oncoming traffic and we say our goodbyes and she and he passenger are off into the night.
I turn back as I hear the medic yell "you aint hurt man,' then yelled 'his eyes are constricted' and they got the gurney out and put him on it. About this time the police officer grabs the blankets off the street and asks if they are mine, I told him "they are until I find a homeless person who needs it." He says he has three bags in his car, I ask him if he means that car, the cop car he said no his car. I told him to get them to me and I will distribute them to the homeless.
And he asks if that is what I do as he follows me to the back of my jeep…and he looks in as I tell him "it is lately" I hear him say "oh my god" as the back of my jeep is full of bags of clothes and blankets and food.
I gave him my connection card, cuz for some fucking reason he didn't want to give me his card…jerk! But whatever and I tell him to call me and I will come get his stuff as I close up the back of my car.
By this time Rodney is in the back of the ambulance as I climb into my jeep and ease myself into the seat with the first realization that I could have killed that man. I tried to stay present enough to drive myself to Zaccaro where I parked outside and totally dropped my box at the thought.
At the thought that I could have run him over and done who knows what to him but mostly at the reality of it..that he just gave up and decided to lay himself down in the middle of the main vain through downtown Detroit. He just laid down. How long was he there before it all happened, how many people just swerved around him, questions I will never know the answers to. but that none the less pain me.
I went into the store as I remembered I had been hungry before all of that happened but I just wandered around I could not think not think. I ended up at Avalon, hardly remember the drive but I did past the ambulance on Woodward and could see Rodney sitting up in the back of it, what was to happen to him? again a question I will never know the answer to.
Half way on my way to Athenas a really good friend called me from Vancouver and just let me tell him partly through tears partly through confusion what had just happened on Woodward and about what had happened to me on the Full Moon the night before. We were both glad he called as I think he pulled me out of a state of shock to tell you the truth so that by time I arrived our call was complete and I was able to be with fully present with Athena on what we realized was our very first time ever being completely alone!! It was a greedy pleasure indeed for both of us as we curiously wondered how had grown so close and needed each others friendship so much even though we had never had more than like 1 or 2 hours lunches alone ever in our three year friendship. Hm? But after the week were both having it was perfectly timed that we were able to just be and do so with each other. i was very thankful for that.