Sure, I lie. Just to calm her down. I squeeze her shoulders—she on the ground, now—and I don’t even ask “Are you choking?” or “Do you need help?” like they teach in first aid. Because she’s beyond frickin’ choking to the not breathing part and somebody sure as hell better help. I tell her, “I am a doctor and I am going to save you.” There, that’s it. Total lie. She stops shaking and grabbing and clawing and she like somebody let air out of a balloon. Still dying, but relieved. Maybe resigned.
A small crowd around me. This is downtown, remember? Daytime? I hear voices. Someone says: “I called 911.”
Someone says: “Me too.”
Like that gonna help, right? Cause this old lady—she’s got seconds. I whip out the boxcutter I carry in my pocket and tell her: “Ma’am, I am going to make a…a…” What that’s word? And someone says “incision, doctor.” How come you not stepping up? You smarter than me.
But no time really to find out if anybody gathering knows more about this than me. Probably everybody do, including the guy sold her that gristly-ass hot dog. I index finger down her Adam’s apple to the indent. Find the bones after the indent to make sure. Then up again to the indent. Here, where it soft.
“I make the incision now,” I whisper. It important that she know. By now she blue and her eyes like them Japanese cartoons we look at in class when we bored. I blade. Cut a half-inch opening. Blood drips down the sides.
Somebody hands me a pen with the ink innards out. That’ll do. I stick it in. Lean down blow into the pen. The chest rises. I push on the chest. Then the chest starts going on its own.
Someone touch my shoulder: “Good work, we’re here now.” It’s the ambulance people. So okay, they got the gurney right there and I step back and back and back and back, like back- peddling slow to get out of there because, look, I’m here today giving this deposition so I know a lie is a lie, right? But then that nice girl cop grab my arm. “Just need a statement, miss. You save that woman’s life, do you know that?”
So, I gave the statement and then later, that old lady, she got an infection where I cut. I mean I felt bad she had to stay in the hospital and it be a struggle for her for a couple weeks but she, what? 84 or something? And she alive, that’s the main thing. She alive and I saved her.
Then she turn around and sues my ass; my employer, too, cause I use that boxcutter at work. I might lose my house I just managed to buy last year with money after my grandmom passed. My own place out of the hood with a garage studio.
Bye-bye, I guess. And art school? I could barely afford that before. Now? With them lawyer fees? Believe this shit?