Yesterday at the library a man came in suffering from rectal bleeding. If that doesn't make you want to read further, I don't know what will!
To back up...
The man staggered in, groaning, and collapsed on the bench near my desk. With labored breathing, he said he was in dire straits and needed help.
I couldn't see him over the giant floral arrangement that Carol brings in weekly.
"Do you need an ambulance?" I asked from behind the petunias.
"No. I just need you... to call Bank of America."
Of course. The man was having a banking emergency. I should have known.
He went on to explain that he'd picked up two hitchhikers and they robbed him. So now he didn't have any money or his bank card. He needed me to call Anna at Bank of America so he could get some money out of his account. He said he had over a 100 thou.
"Reference is over there," I said. "Do you want them to look up the number?"
The man shook his head weakly. "I'm not feeling so good. I just had surgery in San Francisco and I'm having some internal bleeding."
"Okay. We should probably call an ambulance..."
"No! I need to call Anna. She can get my money... my money..."
Carol came over at this point. The man looked to be in his seventies, with a gray beard and dirty, squinting face.
"Sir? Sir! What would your sister do in this case?!"
"If I were your sister, wouldn't she call an ambulance?"
The man shrugged weakly. He was leaning over, one arm draped over his stomach. "Unnnh," he said.
Carol called 911. They were unable to patch her through to Bank of America, but they got the firefighters and paramedics coming in. The paramedic loudly asked the man if he'd been drinking or taking any "edibles." He said no. They asked about his surgery, blood thinners, heart medication, etc.
"Any rectal bleeding?"
"Not yet," the man said.
The paramedic tittered weirdly. "What do you mean by that?"
"I know my body," the man slurred. "I can tell.... when..."
The paramedic asked what day it was, what month, what year. The man passed the test with flying colors. Then he said his birth date. He was forty-freakin'-nine, six months younger than me.
One of the paramedics came over to me. "You want this guy out of here?"
"Uh.... I don't know. He's not really a problem. Not yet."
They loaded him on a gurney and got him out. Later someone came down to complain about a Chinese lady.
"She copying a whole book upstairs! You can't do that. She's infringing on copyright laws."
The man stared at me angrily.
"Okay," I said.
"Well? Are you going to tell her to stop?"
I stared. I wanted to tell him to let Trump handle it, but I just shrugged weakly. Suddenly I felt very old, and a little dizzy. For a moment I thought maybe I was feeling some wetness down below. I checked. No blood.