As I continue packing boxes, two thoughts pop into my head at the same time. "The dog has to pee" and "I need to call my friend Schaa". I grab a poop bag, the leash, and my phone. The dog and I head down the hallway stairs of my apartment building. Halfway down the stairs, I hear a moan. I look down and see a man collapsed on the floor of the first floor hallway. I scurry down the stairs.
I ask the man if he is okay. I recognize him as the building manager, who I know from sight but have only ever exchanged nods. He struggles to stand. I see a broken pair of glasses and a set of keys on the ground nearby. I ask if he fell down the stairs--should I call 911? He mumbles, but manages to reply in a low voice, "nooooooooooooo". I tell him I do not want to leave him alone until I know he is okay. He appears to me to be very, very inebriated and he can not stand. He also smells of cigarette smoke. The smell is so strong I feel nauseous. I keep my distance. I tell him I want to call 911. He mumbles again, "noooooooooooooooo". Then he stares at me very intently. The look in his eyes is so intense, I immediately feel threatened and intimidated by this man.
The dog whines. She still needs to pee. Reluctantly, I tell him I am going to step outside but will be right back. I walk up and down the block as I hold my cell phone tightly in my hand. When I come back, he is still on the floor. I call 911. I let him know and he becomes agitated. A group of neighbors enter the building. I inform them that I have called an ambulance and that I've been advised to watch the man's breathing, and even if he asks do not give him food or water. The man is drenched in sweat. Within two minutes, the ambulance has arrived. I pick up the broken glasses and keys to get them out of the way. They begin to ask myself and the neighbors questions. We do not know much. I look down at the man's keys. I see a diabetes tag. I show the EMTs. They take the man's belongings and then they are gone.
I can't stop thinking what happened. I should have called 911 sooner. I should have picked up his keys. Why was he so adamant that I not call an ambulance? Is he going to be mad at me? Is he as disappointed in my reaction as I am? As he lay there on the floor, did he sense how much he was scaring me?
I have never been put in a situation like this before. My mind is full of thoughts on how I wish I could get a second chance to do the right thing. At the same time, I hope I never get the opportunity.