I stand by the road, waiting… for a friend.
A loud screeching sound, I am distracted. On the road, a motorcycle, fallen on a man struggling. Around, a clutch of people, frozen and staring. Traffic, courteously, skirts past the pinned man.
Rush towards the struggling man, I try to pick the bike up. Can’t. My hold is wrong. As my melting mind comes to grips with the unwieldy grip, more people unfreeze and rush to help me. Hands lift the bike.
The man gets up by himself.
He rubs his knee, staggers towards his bike, reclaims it from the several, clutching, hands.
Ah! there’s my friend, I am distracted. I rush to give him the customary hug and the customary words of greeting. Did you know that the question ‘How are you?’ is basically the most difficult question to answer, truthfully. Every time I am asked that, I basically lie.
Somewhere, in that ritual of lying, I hear a motorcycle start. I see the man ride away. Disappearing quickly in the courteous traffic.
People still stood. Still staring vacantly.
They begin to disappear like me, one by one.
Much later, I wonder.
Basically, why didn’t I help the man stand up.
Basically, why didn’t I ask the man if he was hurt.
Basically, why didn’t I offer him a word of concern. A chair to rest a bit. A bit of water.
Basically, why was I so eager to get on with my life.
Basically, why was the hurry.
Basically, what have I turned into.
Basically, am I,
basically fucked up.