This morning's commute was as ordinary as ever, until we got to Oak and Fillmore, and then it was anything but.
Someone in the back of the bus let our a loud roar, a noise that grabbed everyone's attention for a moment.
A second later, the woman sitting behind me said, "Someone's having a seizure."
Another person echoed her, saying, "Driver, this man is having a seizure."
The driver stopped the bus just as another half dozen of us called out to her. I stood up and my seatmate headed to the door, along with most of the people on the bus. The man having the seizure was lying on the floor in the back of the bus. I watched a couple of kids step over him on their way out the door.
The driver was already on the phone to dispatch, but it didn't look like anyone was calling 911.
I dug my phone out of my bag and called out to her, "Should I call 911? Did you do it already?"
She shook her head and said I should call, so I did.
The 911 operator had a calm manner and he asked me questions about the man, his approximate age and if he was breathing. Luckily the man seemed to have stopped seizing and he was lying on the floor slowly raising his arms, and drooling. He was bleeding from his hand and it looked fresh, and he had two beer cans in his pockets. His hands were puffy and grimy. The man who was watching him looked at me and nodded a little when I told the operator the man seemed to be doing better.
By now, everyone had left the bus except me, the man watching the sick man, the sick man, and the driver. The rest of the passengers all stood in the bus stop across the street, waiting.
The driver came back and I told her the operator had dispatched the paramedics. We three, and the sick man, waited to hear the emergency sirens. The operator stayed on the line until I heard, and then saw, the approaching fire truck.
The paramedics arrived and I stepped off the bus so they'd have room to do their thing.
"Thanks," said the driver.
"You're welcome, I mean, of course," I replied. Because, of course, right? I like to think most people would do the same. Even though an entire bus full of people just... Didn't.
A few minutes later the paramedics walked the guy off the bus. He was probably very drunk, too, I thought, and he didn't want them to check him out at all. They stood him in front of my old corner store and he swatted them away. That was the last I saw of them before we all piled back onto the bus and continued our commute.
I watched the other passengers and it might sound weird, but even the most regular of regulars looked different to me now. I know we all had places to get to this morning, but still.