Deep Down

I was on a crowded N at 59th St. when I heard a few gasps and a thud. A few yards to my left, a young Indian man had just collapsed on the floor.

He was immediately alert, if not a little dazed, and his friends picked up him and brought him over to a newly vacated seat. They were all wearing jeans and t-shirts, but gave the impression that they all had just worked together somewhere.

As the man sat down, I felt another commotion coming the other way. Another Indian man, this one in his late 50’s wearing a suit and tie, was squeezing his way through people on his way over to the group.

"Excuse me, excuse me," he said hurriedly.

He finally got over to them and wordlessly pushed them out of the way. He then got face to face with the dazed man and literally yelled:

"Are you ok?!?"

The dazed man nodded quietly, but this was not enough for the older man.

"Don’t bullshit me! I will take you to hospital!"

The dazed young man again nodded his head, but now said, “I’m ok.”

His friends just watched silently, but the older suited man stood up and now yelled at them:

"Don’t play with his life! If he is sick, take him to hospital!"

They nodded and mumbled “ok,” and the older man stood there until the next stop and got off.

When I was 19, my dad called me at a party at 1 am and we got in an argument about what time I’d be home. After hanging up, I saw my restaurant manager smiling at me. I went crimson, but he tapped me on the shoulder and went, “As you get older, you’ll think of the people who cared about you so much that they got upset, and you’ll wish they were still around.”

I was drinking a Mike’s Hard Lemonade and had no idea what he meant.