“Alright, let’s do this.”
I called Brandon the other day to help out with a plumbing problem, and long story short, he didn’t fix it that night, but was going to come back the next day to work on it. However, since he looked at it, I suddenly owed him supper 🙂
We headed down the road in his van, and stopped at the stoplight at Central and West Street. Brandon is saying something when we hear the screech of tires. I don’t bother to look over, until I hear the cars slam together. I’m looking over just as Brandon says “Oh, shit…” A small-ish four door white car had hit an SUV, and the SUV was tipping over… over… very… slowly… until it hits the ground. I never knew a vehicle could roll on it’s side that slowly.
Brandon slams the van in park, and I grab my cowboy hat off the dash and say “Alight, let’s do this” calmly. Later, Brandon laughed at that – it was calm, more like “Alright, let’s get to back to work” or something.
What was interesting to me was the approach Brandon and I took, or more importantly, the differences in approach. Brandon and I talked about it later, and for him he had to be extremely careful. He tunnel visions in on the problem, to the exclusion of all other input. He had to actually think to stop and look for cars, not trip over the small median, that sort of stuff. It’s actual effort to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself or make an ass of himself trying get there to help someone else.
Me, the world slows down a bit, and I get hyper sensitive. I glanced at the rearview mirror to make sure no cars were coming. The guy behind me turned on his blinkers, and I nodded at him. I crossed in front of the truck, and all traffic had stopped in all four directions. I could see a hand under the SUV, but no blood yet. The driver of the white car had both hands on the wheel, white knuckled, but again, no blood. The driver in the near lane was watching me, not the accident that just occurred. A million pieces of input flooded in, and I saw and processed it all, determining which bits were most relevant to the situation, and which bits were irrelevant. The fact that the guy in the truck behind us had turned on his flashers was relevant. The fact he had a mustache and goatee wasn’t relevant.
I can stay in that phase for quite a while if I need to. If I’m directing other people, the focus will remain wide. If I have a job to do, it narrows down to that job. I’d make a horrible solder – when I narrowed in on someone I was supposed to shoot, there would be no way they could loose me. However, I’d totally fail to notice the five hundred other guys that were about to kill me. Once I have that job to do, my situational awareness disappears (ahem, there’s a bit in The Story of Gamer Zone about exactly that problem when applied to business – narrowing in on that ONE THING I absolutely MUST succeed at, then loosing the situational awareness about the rest of my life. So it’s not really just an emergency situation thing, it’s a problem with my brains in general.)
I stepped to one side of Brandon, and assessed the SUV. Still no blood, and the hand was moving – there was a space there caused by the curve of the SUV, and she appeared to be able to move freely. Brandon stepped up, and began talking to her. I moved to the next person.
The (cute) blonde stared at me blankly for a moment, and then opened the car door, and I asked if she was OK. No blood, and her airbag had not deployed. She had a seatbelt on, and no marks on her face, so, she probably didn’t impact the steering wheel. I talked to her calmly again “Ma’am, are you OK?” “Did you… see that… she ran the red light.” She was a bit rattled.
At this point, my wide focus was gone – I now had a job to do. Brandon had the SUV under control, and I could hear him talking, though it was distant – all my attention was now on visually scanning the blonde. She told me the same thing nearly a dozen times straight “Did you… see that? She ran the red light.” No obvious injuries appeared – her hands and legs were moving, though I kept her sat down, and managed to convince her that she needed to stay in her car. I’m not an expert, I only know the stuff I’ve been taught in CPR, OSHA, and Mine Safety courses – which means I don’t know enough to do more than keep the person still, and check to see if I’m going to have to apply pressure to bleeding wounds.
Just over a minute has passed, and I stepped back to the SUV to ask Brandon what his situation was, and pulled out the iPhone. Over a minute since we had jumped out of the vehicle, and other people finally realized “Hey! There’s an accident – maybe we should help?” Nice reaction time, folks.
The guy with the mustache and goatee whipped out his cell phone about two seconds before I did – I had delayed until Brandon told me the trapped person was OK, and didn’t bother hitting dial when the other guy lifted the phone to his ear to start speaking to 911. I went back to the blonde, and continued talking to her, and telling her the other person was OK. She was starting to just barely snap out of it and become coherent again. Brandon, by the way, finally took a moment to peak around the SUV to see the other girl. He told me later “You know, it’s a really asshole thing to say, but, I couldn’t help but thinking FUCK! It figures – Davis would get the cute one, and I’d get stuck with the old hispanic chick.”
Basically, my job was done now – all I did was stand around and make sure she stayed in her car till the fire truck or the EMS got there to check her out. So my senses widened back up again, though not to that hyperaware state that people get, just not tunnel visioned. And I had a hard time not laughing at what I was hearing…
Brandon, of course, is about the biggest guy on the scene at the moment. And he’s got his hands full trying to convince a group of people who got out of their cars to NOT flip the SUV back up on it’s wheels. Not a single one of them had looked behind the SUV – the way things had landed, if they would have done it, the SUV would have landed on the front driver’s quarter panel of the white car!
At three minutes, the first cop showed up, and she took over for Brandon. Which is good – these guys were determined that the right thing to do was flip over the SUV, and when a cop said no, it finally stuck 🙂
A 20 seconds later, the next cop came running up, and I looked around to find Brandon – he had already figured out a couple seconds before I did that we were both of no use now, and headed for the van, and I followed. They had another seven people that could, as Brandon said it, tell the cops “Yeah, I saw the whole thing!”
So we drove off, grabbed a box of chicken, and came back and watched the rest of the festivities from the sidelines. We figured the rule was, if we were the first ones on the scene, we were perfectly allowed to gawk at the accident.
It made me wonder a couple of things. If we hadn’t have jumped out immediately, would have people responded faster, because no one was helping, or would it have taken longer, since no one was taking the initiative? And would it have been inappropriate to ask the blonde for her number? 😉
More Book Mumblings
I’m now at 222 pages, and I’m guessing the end is probably about 50 pages away. Not bad.
I’ve grown to really enjoy doing this. It’s just downright fun! The subject matter is sort of boring – it’s not as good of a story to deal with as fiction would be – but it’s really cool to sit and craft this.
The other day I stayed up until 6 AM writing, and had written 10 sections by the time I was done. And when I finally passed out, I passed out hard. Someone had called me at 7:30 AM THREE TIMES, and I still managed to sleep through the phone (no idea who it was, I didn’t recognize the number. They didn’t leave a message, so I hope it wasn’t important!)
The writing isn’t flowing quite as fast between my brain and my fingers now – it’s a bit slower paced writing it. And before, if I got stuck, I’d be stuck there for quite a while, but that’s changed – if I just take my hands off the keyboard, and read what I had written up to that point a couple times, the next part starts to gel, and I can keep going. I haven’t exerienced anything I’d call a serious writers block on it, but, every once in a while I’d be stopped by a section for a day or two. Now, I can just think it through a bit, and start picking it up again. Which makes it a little more addictive, more like questing in World of Warcraft – there might be a short bit that I’m not making any progress, but it’s going to be for a very short bit.
I’m definitely going to do this again, at least once. The question becomes which one I’m going to do again – I’ve got fragments of two stories, one a sci-fi, and one a… well, romance with a twist.
I’m sure I’ll eventually get bored with writing. But for now, it’s a great deal of fun that doesn’t really cost me anything except a little time.
I noticed that a publisher is now following my Twitter feed. Not a big group or anything, and they haven’t said anything to me, they are just following my feed that tells when I’ve sent an update to The Story. Hm. I’m wondering if that means anything, or if it’s just an anomaly.
After talking with Maha a couple of times, I finally sat down and created brand spankin’ new accounts on two sites, including a new picture of me (included here, just for the hell of it). I don’t figure the dating sites will lead to much of anything, but, it’s a good stepping stone to getting myself mentally prepared for what I really need to do: leave the house more often, and go places and do things where I would meet someone who’s into the same things, etc.
Now, it’s probably been 8 or 9 months since I’ve been really been active on any of the dating sites. I’ve re-opened my account once, looked around, and closed it again (the free sites only – I’m heavily unconvinced on eHarmony and it’s $39 / mo. charge, even if they did give me my account free last time.) I usually refer to it as the land of the fat and broken.
This time however, I was a bit shocked: there were some fairly attractive women my age on there now. Hm – now which is it… is there now actually more attractive women on there, have my standards slipped, or is it that I’m finally mentally prepared for something like this and not seeing it all in a negative manner. I’m gonna have to figure that one out.