Once you get past that first incident, however, it becomes surprisingly easy to deal with. And the bigger and more violent the city, the more often you're going to have to. You quickly start making jokes. Someone you work with will have a phial of 70%, rocket fuel grade hydrogen peroxide to both clean his boots and make some fizzy funsies. It gets you through the reality of what you're dealing with.
I am a xenophobe. I do not like people. I like single persons, but I hate people. I don't hate them in the lazy way of a racist; I can find all sorts of reasons to hate each and every person solely on his or her own lack of merit. I owe a lot of you (especially in the Bay Area and Londonium) an apology; I was going through a rather extended bad patch. I no longer drink like I did nor act as I did in public. I am quite regretful for a few of my... antics and know that most of you saw it even when I didn't. Millman can probably tell you about the Jekyll & Hyde differences between me at home and me, then, in transit.
While I hate people, there's a Samaritan streak in me which first drew me to medicine and emergency services. I never fail to offer help when someone inevitably exhibits some sort of distress. The only reason I did nothing when that guy across the aisle went grand mal on the flight back from Tenerife is that the cramped seat held him in position and a doctor self-identified before the seizure was over. I listened for any call for further help but the guy was a seasoned epileptic and didn't even get mildly annoyed much less violent. The flight back to Madrid continued unhindered.
But that first bleed-out never leaves you. There's no escape.
About four years ago a stinky old drunk was in front of me going to the only till (register) open at the local supermarket. He seized, let out a truly classic sound, and fell backwards into me. The big shocker for the ambulance crew was that I gave them every bit of info they needed, from incident description to vitals to treatment. Thank fuck he kept breathing, the scumbag. Jeebus wept, I had to throw away the T-shirt because it stank so badly from holding him.
It's what you do. It's the right thing to do. It's what you damned well expect others to do for your <%important_person_in_life%> under similar circumstances. But some shit you never forget.
It was that incident, but not in the way anyone involved recognised. It wasn't the bleed-out on its own. It wasn't even that she'd been beaten so badly almost every major bone was broken before she finally expired. It was that we managed to save the guy who did it to her.
Pratchett's "Death" is famous for the sentiment, "THERE IS NO JUSTICE. THERE IS ONLY ME." I think this explains much for me, happiness and awesomeness of my new family notwithstanding. You do what you can, you get through as best you can, you take the happy where you can find it and you apologise if you spread a bit of misery. Sorry.
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