A Young Man’s Strange Erotic Journey Around the Globe

One Year After Part I - Until the Bitter End Chapter 12 – That Fateful Day

Chapter 12 – That Fateful Day

My dad and I worked together for three final days before he suffered a fatal stroke on Mother’s Day of 2020. After doing a triage of what jobs we felt needed to be done most urgently, since it isn’t just a matter of aesthetics as is the case with window washing and real damage could be caused from leaking and overflow if backed-up gutters are not attended to in a timely manner, we decided we should get all the gutter cleaning jobs taken care of first. We made a day of that on Thursday which was the day after we picked up the truck with the new ladder rack on it from The Truck Shop down in Franklin Park. Then on Friday we did these two window washing jobs that we’d do once a month from March until November of every year. One of these customers had been using my dad’s service since the early nineties, the other since the mid-2000s. The two of them are easily our most loyal customers which is why they were next in line. Then the rest…well, it didn’t really matter. It was basically just luck of the draw – however my dad decided on doin ‘em.

For Saturday, he decided to set up a big job in nearby suburban Park Ridge. The guy wanted his gutters cleaned and his outside windows washed. While we were there, I was washing the exterior of all the second floor windows using an extension ladder while my dad got the first floor ones off a six-foot step ladder. Like he had in the car ride down to Truck Shop earlier in the week, he’d been doing quite a bit of storytelling this day while we worked. Of course, it wasn’t quite as intense as when he’d been motor-mouthin all those stories about every job he’d ever had, but on that Saturday he was definitely doin some talkin. Unfortunately, only one of the stories he’d been telling that day stands out in my memory. It happens to be one I’d never heard before. It was about his older brother Tom. He and my dad were “Irish twins” ya see, which – if you weren’t aware – is defined online by some website no one’s ever heard of as “a term originally used as a derogatory stereotype of Irish Catholic culture to refer to siblings who are born within 12 months of one another, especially true for children born in the same calendar year or children who would be in the same grade at school.” These two guys happened to not only be born in the same calendar year, but were also in the same grade at school. And they were total opposites – your regular Goofus and Gallant. Although my dad was a better math student than his brother and was a pretty smart guy overall, his grades were never a reflection of it and paled in comparison to those of Tom who always took his studies quite seriously. Tom was always more of a by-the-book, prim and proper typa guy and my dad…well, my dad never really did care too much for following the rules.

“Me and Tom used to share a room together growin up on Agatite. His side of the room was always so neat and perfect and mine always had a buncha shit layin all over the place. And this one time I was gonna go hang out with some of my buddies but didn’t have any more clean clothes, so I went over to his side of the room and took this pair of white jeans he had. I put ‘em on and I left. I was out with the guys – ya know, sittin on the hoods of our cars and drinkin beers or whatever for a few hours – and then I went back home. And when I took those pants off, I noticed the ass of ‘em was completely stained with dirt. I mean, I didn’t think twice about sittin on the hoods of those cars. I didn’t think any of ‘em were that dirty, ya know? So, I dunno. I just threw the pants back on his side of the room and when he found ‘em, he was so pissed off I thought he was gonna kill me.”

That window/gutter job in Park Ridge took us about four or five hours to complete. When we finished, my dad asked me if I wanted to go do another small outside-only window washing job not too far away from where we were. He’d brought the customer’s address with just in case we wanted to go do it, but hadn’t told the customer that we’d be there that day just in case we didn’t wanna go do it. That’s actually the way it works with a lot of our outside-only customers. They just say, “Yeah, sure, come by whenever and if I’m not home when you’re here, just leave me a bill in the mailbox. That’s great. I’ll send a check out as soon as possible. Suck my balls and have a nice day.” I’m just kidding. Our customers don’t say that last part. Well, actually, some of them might behind our backs – I don’t know. But it’s not important though. What I’m tryin to get at is, because we hadn’t told that one customer we’d definitely be there at their house that day, I didn’t feel too guilty when I responded…

“Nah, my man. I’m not really feelin it right now.”

“Good,” he said. “Me neither. I’m gonna drop you off at home and then head over to the woods to go get some miles.”

Now, when I was a kid, we’d always get into this neighborhood home run pool that one of my neighbors would organize. There were like thirty people in it and before opening day of the MLB season, you had to pick ten players that you thought would collectively hit the most home runs over the course of the 162-game season. Each person pays twenty bucks to enter and the winner takes the spoils. How it works is: There’re a total of one-hundred players that fall into four different groups from which you pick your players. Groups A, B, C and D. In Group A are the top ten players who hit the most home runs in the previous season. You pick one guy from Group A. Group B contains the next twenty players who whacked the most dingers last year. You pick two guys from Group B. The next 30 guys fall into Group C. You get three picks from C. The final forty guys of last year’s biggest sluggers fall into Group D and you pick four guys from there.  Easy enough, right? So that’s what me and my brother and my dad and a few of our neighbors and their kids all used to do back in the day. But then one year we stopped doin it. And didn’t do it again for quite some time – ten years maybe. But now, for the last seven or eight years, my brother has revived the tradition and taken over as “commissioner” of the annual MLB home run pool. And in late winter/early spring of 2020, as per usual, he’d sent out the email to everybody with the official list of guys to choose from and gave everybody a due date that he wanted their picks in by. But then, as we all know, covid came outta nowhere and fucked everything up and the start of the 2020 MLB season was postponed indefinitely. Total bummer, right?

So, in the first week of May, it came to my brother’s attention that in spite of the pandemic, the Korea Baseball Organization – essentially the MLB of South Korea – was gonna go ahead with their season starting on the 5th of the month. And a light bulb went off in my brother’s head. Figuring this was the next best thing, he scrambled to throw together a new list of the top 100 players and sent a new email out to everybody saying that if you wanted to participate in this year’s pool, please have your picks turned in no later than Mother’s Day, which was Sunday the 10th. After finishing work on the afternoon of Saturday the 9th but before my dad had dropped me off back at home so he could go get his miles, I reminded him that he needed to get his home run picks in to my brother sometime later that day.

“Eh, I dunno about that,” he said. “I don’t think I wanna play this year. I don’t know any of the players or anything.”

“Well,” I said, “I don’t either. No one does. It’s a level playing field. You have as good a chance as anyone else.”

“Yeah, maybe. But they’re not gonna publish Korean baseball stats in our newspaper, so how am I supposed to keep track of how my guys are doin?”

Keep in mind my dad never learned how to use the internet.

“Well, I’m sure Danny’ll send out updates of who’s winning and all that shit every two or three weeks like he always does, and when I get those emails from him, I’ll let ya know how you’re doin.”

He didn’t object.

“C’mon,” I said. “It’s somethin to do. Like, who knows when they’ll resume the MLB season with this covid shit goin on. Even Mom and Teresa are gonna play this year. And I’ll tell ya what…when I get home, I’ll print the list of guys up for ya and leave it in the basement. All ya gotta do is circle the names of ten guys on the list at some point this afternoon in between your walks in the woods and then gimme the paper. I’ll take a photo of your picks on my phone and send ‘em along to Danny. Whattaya say?”

He said he’s in.

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll have that paper downstairs for ya.”

I got dropped off at home, printed up the pick sheet and left it where I said I would. Dad went to the woods to walk his miles. I went up to my bedroom to spend the rest of the afternoon studying Spanish and working out. Sometime that evening Dad came to the top of the basement stairs and called my name. I went to see what was up.

“Here,” he said as he handed me his pick sheet and his twenty dollars.

“Oh cool, thanks,” I said. “I’ll get this to Danny right away.”

“Thanks,” he said, turning to head back downstairs. “Have a good night.”

“Yeah, you too.”

And that was the last interaction I ever had with my dad.

So, let’s take a minute to cover a little background stuff here real quick before we go on with the story. In his later years, as I’ve mentioned before in other chapters, my dad began to develop quite a few OCD characteristics. Not saying he was anywhere near on the level of television’s Detective Adrian Monk as portrayed by Tony Shaloub, but let’s just say my dad’s need to have everything in its designated place was a far cry from the throw-my-shit-anywhere slob that’d once upon a time shared a bedroom with his brother Tom as a kid. Most pertinent to the tale at hand had been where he liked to keep the clothes he was gonna wear the following day. Well, to be fair, my dad wore the exact same clothes every single day – and had to wash ‘em every day as well – but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have their place when he wasn’t wearin ‘em and when they weren’t in the wash. So like, I know it’s a little different because Dad stopped going to the bar during covid, but for years his routine was like – after he got home from the bar every night, he’d take off all the clothes he was wearing and put ‘em in the washer and then put on his PJs while he sat there doing his jumble and watching the MLB Network. When those clothes eventually made it through the dryer, he’d bring ‘em over and set ‘em in their ritualistic positions. Draped over the top of the back of the loveseat had been the place he liked to lay out his shirt, his jeans and his underwear. On top of the back of the couch on which he slept were his socks and I’m pretty sure that’s where he kept his wallet too. The keys were normally kept next to the radio on top of the little table underneath the light switch at the bottom of the stairs. And his brown shower towel was kept not in the bathroom, but on the handle of an elliptical machine that’s sat unused down there – other than being used by my dad as a hanger, of course – for the past ten years. And ya know, a lot of other things had their places as well, but there’s really no need to get into it here.

So, on top of the fact that a lot of his belongings each had their own special places, the details of my dad’s morning routine were always the same. First things first, he’d wake up on that shitty old beat-up couch whose cushions were sunken in to the shape of his skinny old beat-up body. Then after getting up and using the bathroom, he’d come back to the coffee table that was right in front of the couch that served as his bed. From there, he’d pick up the box of Wheaties that’d perpetually sat upon it and pour some of ‘em into that same shitty magenta-colored plastic bowl he’d been using for the past twenty-odd years. Once his humble serving of Wheaties had been dispensed, he’d pick up that disgusting steak knife that he never washed and use it to slice up half-a-banana on top of the Wheaties. After that, he’d go over to the mini fridge by the exterior door down there in the basement to grab the gallon of whole milk which he’d walk back over to the coffee table whereupon he’d pour a splash of that bovine titty juice on top of his Wheaties/banana combo just before proceeding to stuff all the bowl’s contents into his face. Of course, all this was done with the MLB network on in the background. That part of the routine we couldn’t really hear from upstairs, but we just know that that’s how he started his day. The rest of the stuff that he’d do every morning before leaving the house to go get his miles, however, was always clearly audible from the first floor. And like, we always knew whatever he was up to based on the sounds we were hearing from above because we live in this hundred-year-old house where the sound travels.

So, that said, right after breakfast is when Dad’d go to take his shower. We’d always hear the fan once it’d been switched on as he entered the bathroom down there and that sound was always immediately followed by the sound of the sliding wooden door closing behind him. Then we could also hear the glass shower door opening and closing when he stepped in there and, as plain as day, we could hear the water of the shower while it was running. Then the water would stop and the shower door would open and close again and the sliding door would open and there’d be a minute or two of silence as he walked over to the elliptical machine to hang up his towel just before walking over to the back of the loveseat where all his clothes for the day minus his socks were kept. It was here that he’d get dressed. Then after that, we’d hear the exterior basement door open and close while he stepped outside for his mandatory post-shower morning smoke. He didn’t need his socks for this because he kept this ten-plus-year-old pair of Nike gym shoes next to the door that had the back parts of ‘em stomped down flat so they looked and felt more like a pair of slippers than a pair of sneakers. I actually still wear those things to this day when I’m barefoot down in the basement but need to go run out into the garage for whatever reason. But anyway, that’s what he’d wear on his feet when stepping out to smoke. Then the door would open and close again as he came back inside to run the cigarette butt under water in the slop sink of the laundry room before tossing it into the little garbage down there next to the dryer. This is why his ashtray just outside of the basement door there was always full of ashes but never had any butts in it. At this point he’d put on his socks and shoes, and grab his keys and wallet, and the door would open and close one last time as he left to walk up the stairs, through the yard, through the front gate and out to the same spot in the street where he’d park his truck every evening. And there, once in the driver seat of his truck but before pulling away to go head to the woods to start getting his miles for the day, he’d sit and have another smoke. You don’t hafta memorize my dad’s morning routine or anything like that, but just try to be aware of the general order of things, okay?

So, the next morning after getting Dad’s homerun picks at the top of the basement stairs, I was up in my room doing some studying. My mom knocked on the door. It was probably a little after ten o’clock. I told her she could come in. I wished her a happy Mother’s Day. She said thanks and told me she was gonna cook some bacon. She also told me my sister would be coming over to visit in the very near future – within an hour or so. And while she was on the topic of my sister, she also mentioned this bizarre phone call my dad had made to her – presumably because she’s a nurse – around one or two in the morning the night before.

“She didn’t pick up,” my mom said. “But he left this message saying he wasn’t feeling good. He said he felt really constipated. She said he didn’t sound too good.”

“Didn’t sound too good…how?”

“She said he sounded a bit panicky or something. Like he was desperate and short of breath or something. He wanted her to call him back.”

“All this because he was constipated?”

“Yeah, that’s what he said in the message.”

“Hmm,” I said. “That’s strange.”


“Well, how’s he doin now? Did she call him back this morning when she got the message? Or did you go down there and check on him err…?”

“No, no,” she said. “I heard him get in the shower not too long ago but then didn’t hear the basement door opening and shutting for his smoke and his truck’s still out there in front, so…I figure he must’ve still felt pretty sick and just decided to lay back down for a bit after his shower instead of going to get his miles. So I told Tre that and she thought that since if he was up all night feeling sick and he’s asleep now, it was probably better not to call him. She figured she’d just let him rest for a bit and then go down and check up on him when she’s here.”

“Ah, yeah. That sounds like a good idea.”

“Yeah,” she said. “What are you doing?”

“Just studying my Spanish for the day. I’ll be down a bit later to hang out with you guys.”

“Okay, sounds good,” she said and shut the door.

It was almost noon when I finally finished studying. Before going downstairs, I wanted to quickly order a couple books from Amazon that I thought would help me take my Spanish language skills to the next level. I added Gramática de uso del español: Teoría y práctica C1-C2 to my digital shopping cart which turned out to be a great resource. I also bought some vocabulary book whose name I can’t remember because I found all the words to be so stilted and pretentious and unusable in day-to-day conversations that I ended up chuckin the thing in the recycling bin. To pay for these purchases, I used the Amazon gift card my dad had gotten me for Christmas a few months back. Right after having finalized the transactions, I was still laying on my bedroom floor getting ready to head downstairs to eat a late breakfast and hang out with my family when my mom yelled my name up the stairs. It wasn’t a frantic, urgent yell, but it was loud. It was out of character – like, she normally doesn’t do that. That’s what my dad always used to do, not my mom. When I’m in my room and she wants to talk to me, Mom always comes up to my door and knocks the way she had a couple hours earlier. I was confused by this change of routine.

“What?” I shouted back as I stood up to open the bedroom door. “What’s up? What’s goin on?”

She said somethin like, “Get down here right now. There’s something wrong with Dad.”

And I almost made a joke sayin, “No shit, there’s lots o’ things wrong with the guy.” But I didn’t.

“Whattaya mean?” I asked, comin down the stairs. “Where is he?”

“In the basement.”

So I went downstairs and found my sister crouched down next to my father who lay naked on his side atop the cold tiles of the basement floor just behind the loveseat on which he hung his daily outfit. He was grunting and seemingly trying to get up off the floor, but aside from rocking himself back and forth a little bit, was having no such luck.

“What the fuck’s goin on here?!”

“I think he’s having a stroke,” she responded.

“How long’s he been layin there?”

“I don’t know,” she replied. “I came down here an hour ago with a plate of bacon for Dad and I saw the bathroom door was open. I said ‘Hey Dad’ a few times and he didn’t respond. I just heard the grunting. I figured he was just taking a shit with the door open and was having a tough time cuz I got that voicemail from him last night saying he was constipated or whatever. So when he didn’t answer me, I thought maybe he just wanted some privacy. I had no idea he was laying here behind the loveseat the whole time.”

“Did you call 9-1-1?”

“Not yet.”

“Okay, well, you do that,” I said. “I’m gonna go call Danny and tell him to get over here.”

So I ran upstairs and called my brother and then put on pants and a jacket thinking I’d either ride along with my dad in the ambulance or meet him at the hospital. Well, covid strikes again. But I’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s go back to the basement.

“The ambulance is on the way,” Teresa said. “For some reason they connected me with a dispatcher out in Wheeling and had to transfer me to Chicago.”

“What? Why?”

“Cuz I called from my cell phone. Their system isn’t as accurate at picking up the locations of cell phones as they are at landlines or something. I don’t know. But they’re on their way now.”

I just stood there for a minute by my mom looking on at my sister and my dad. No one will ever know what was going through his mind at that point. Like, I’m not sure if he was still there or if those agitated movements that resembled an attempt to get up were just some sort of visceral reaction. My mom swears he made eye contact with her after she said somethin to him. She says he gave her one of those annoyed, “Don’t tell me my business,” “Shut the fuck up, you stupid bitch,” kinda looks, but neither my sister nor I saw it, so…maybe that was just wishful thinking on her part? I don’t know. Like I said, we’ll never know. But if that had been the case, that’s probably the only time in her life she’d have ever been happy to have received one of Dad’s threatening looks like that. Either way, from what I could gather based on the information I’d been given by my mom earlier about hearing the shower and Dad’s current state of nakedness on the floor, it looks like he must’ve finished his shower, came out of the bathroom and hung up his shower towel on the handle of the elliptical machine like he always did. I mean, he had to’ve. Because the towel was wet and back in its place. And from there he walked seven or eight feet over to the back of the loveseat where he planned to get dressed, but never had the chance to carry out the task. It was there that he was struck down. And then Teresa went down to bring him bacon and heard that grunting, but thought he was shitting and went back upstairs and…and then what?

“So wait,” I said to my sister, “how’d you end up finding him if you went back upstairs after bringing that bacon down for him?”

“Well, I came back down again just a few minutes ago to come check on him because his truck’s still out on the street. We figured something must be seriously wrong with him if it’s noon already and he still hasn’t left for the woods yet to go get his miles.”

“Oh,” I said.

We stood there in silence for about a minute. Although my sister was kneeling by his side and me and my mom were right there next to him, none of us held his hand or said “I love you” or told him “Everything’s gonna be alright” or any of that typa stuff – ya know, just in case he really was still in there. We just stood there. Like, I can’t speak as to what the other two were experiencing, but I just felt completely helpless and was unsure of what I should be doing. Retrospectively, I regret not having just picked up my dad’s frail 120-something-pound body, throwing him in the car and taking him to hospital myself. But, I dunno. I don’t know if that would’ve done us any good.

“I’m gonna go outside and wait for the ambulance on the porch,” I said.

I can’t remember if anyone responded. I walked up the basement stairs to our first floor and went out the front door. It was dark and dreary out. It wasn’t cold though. The next day was cold. The next day the high was only in the mid-forties and I remember making a fire in the fireplace as we all sat around the living room together looking at old photos and waiting to hear any news from the hospital. But this day, Mother’s Day 2020, was not cold. I stood there staring into the recently-returned foliage of the two trees in front of our house, feeling completely in the moment. I was oblivious to the passing of time. How long had I been standing there? Five minutes? Ten? A half-hour? No idea. Finally an ambulance without the lights or sirens on pulled up in front of our house and two guys casually stepped out. They started walking towards me.

“This way,” I said opening up the screen door on the front porch. “My dad is on the basement floor. My sister’s right there with him. She’s a nurse and says she’s pretty sure he’s having a stroke.”

I lead the guys downstairs. Before they ask any questions, my mom and sister take turns telling them everything that’s happened. They say Dad didn’t have any problems the day before. He was out washing windows with me then got his daily five miles in the woods after. They say he was fine when he went to bed the night before, but explain to ‘em about Dad’s phone call as well as everything else that happened up until this moment. They told ‘em about how my dad had been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and how at his last checkup the doctor noticed this whooshing sound in his carotid artery which could be indicative of said artery – which just happens to be the main supply of oxygen-rich blood to his brain – being clogged up. And since both those conditions made my dad more at-risk for having a stroke and given his current symptoms…well, that’s why Teresa told those guys she thought Dad was having a stroke. Like, my mom and sister were very thorough here. And I have to admit, in spite of the circumstances, they both managed to convey all this information in a very calm and clear manner while I stood there basically with my thumb up my ass. My mom also felt the need to tell these guys that, “He was a Chicago firefighter for thirty years,” in order to – I don’t know – make ‘em feel like they were dealing with one of their own and to do the best they could to save him or something like that. I’m not sure. But whatever she was goin for, it didn’t work. Although these two numbskulls stood there nodding their heads the entire time my mom and sister were talkin as if they understood everything and had been mentally taking notes, from the response they proffered it became immediately clear that absolutely none of the information had registered.

“So ma’am,” one of the guys said. “You say your husband lives here alone?”

“No, I live here too. And so does my son.”

“And is your husband normally like this?”

“Uhh, like what? I’m not sure I know what you mean.”

“Does he normally talk and stuff?”

I was so pissed off by this line of questioning. It’s like… “Yeah, that’s right, you fuckin jackass – he doesn’t talk and he normally just lays on the floor naked like this all day long. We called you up just for shits and giggles so you can come check my dad out here in his normal state. Never mind any of the information my mom and sister just gave you.” I swear, I was ready to brain these fuckin stooges.

“Yes,” she responded, “he normally talks.”

They informed us they were gonna perform a few tests. Among other things, they checked that his pupils were equal and round and reactive to light. They checked both his heart and respiratory rates.

“Is your husband diabetic?”


“So, no one’s heard from him since last night at 1am?” one of the guys asked.

“Well, that’s when he called my daughter saying he wasn’t feeling well, but he definitely got up and took a shower this morning between 9 and 10am.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I heard him take a shower. And where he’s at right now is where he comes after taking his shower to put his clothes on. See ‘em there in front of you on the back of the couch? He was trying to get dressed after his shower when this happened.”

The guys must not’ve believed a word that my mom and sister said. Or maybe they were just that terrible of listeners. I don’t know. Because, as we’d find out later when my sister was talking to one of the emergency room doctors at the hospital over the telephone, the paramedics – when passing my dad off to them – reported that his “Last Known Well” time was one in the morning.

“No, no, no, that’s not right,” my sister said. “I’m a nurse. I know about this stuff. My dad had AFib. I know the symptoms of a stroke and was pretty sure my dad was having one. We told those guys specifically that his Last Known Well time was between 9 and 10am because that’s when he got up and showered this morning.”

“He got up this morning?” the doctor asked.

“Yeah. And I know how important the Last Known Well time is when dealing with stroke patients because there’s only a certain window of time afterwards during which it’s appropriate to give a patient clotbusters.”

“Hmm, okay. Yeah,” the guy said, “that’s not what they told us. And yes, it’s true that he definitely was suffering a stroke, but that’s not the only issue here. Your dad’s got a lot going on. He went into cardiac arrest here in the ED and we were able to revive him, but we got him on a ventilator right now and he doesn’t seem to have very much brain activity at the moment. We’re going to run some more tests on him. Would you mind calling back later? A bit later I’ll have some more information for you.”

“Yes,” she said. “I’ll do that. Thank you very much.”

My sister, the baby of the family, was the bravest one during this time and handled all these calls to the hospital with the utmost professionalism. And we all sincerely thank her for doing so. But again, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the basement for a minute.

“Well ma’am,” one of the paramedics said, “I think we’re gonna hafta take him to the hospital now.”

Opting for the “stair chair” instead of a stretcher, the paramedics lifted, positioned and then fastened my father to this – as the name suggests – chair-shaped apparatus in an upright sitting position and then wrapped a blanket around his naked body. I’m not sure what happened in this process, but after they sat him up like that, he was no longer trying to move around. He was now perfectly still. I told the paramedics it would be easier to go out the external basement door where my dad always smoked and carry him up those stairs out there as opposed to the narrower internal staircase through which they’d arrived. I led the way and ran ahead to open the gate leading to the front yard where I stood to the side, holding the thing open for ‘em as they passed. While they were carrying him through, I looked at my dad’s face. His eyes, wide open, blue and bright as ever, were fixed straight ahead and his gaze seemed catatonic. They brought him over to the ambulance, loaded him into the back and climbed in after him. They told us we weren’t allowed to ride in the ambulance with them to the hospital because of covid. This, we reluctantly accepted and went up on our porch where we waited for them to pull away.

“Why aren’t they leaving?” my mom asked after what could’ve been anywhere between five and ten minutes of waiting. “I don’t get it. This is an emergency. He needs to get to the hospital. What are they doing to him back there?”

“Do you want me to go bang on the back door and see what’s goin on?” I asked.

She didn’t respond. I took no action and didn’t ask again.

Eventually the back door swung open and the two guys emerged. They sauntered to the front of the vehicle – one to the driver side and one to the passenger.

“Is he gonna be alright?” my mom called out.

“Yeah,” the guy on the passenger side of the ambulance said back while removing his gloves, “he’s just got low blood sugar.”

That’s all that was said. Both doors were slammed and the vehicle rolled away at a casual pace with neither the lights nor the sirens turned on.