Thursday, 1 May 2008

Crying Very Sore

Morning time, and as I pass Brechin's Bar I notice a crowd standing across the road outside the Bank of Scotland. I wonder what's up and decide to wander over. I actually reach the bank door before realising I've missed what everyone is gawping at. There's a body lying at the edge of the road. Someone has put a jacket under her head and she lies on her back, motionless. She's wearing trackie bottoms with a stripe up the leg, white trainers - well scuffed - a dark padded jacket. This may be May Day, but the weather is not so fine. She's an adult woman. Then I see her pal who is diving about, leaning over her, talking and giving reassurance before turning to the rest of us, pursing her lips and shaking her head. "See her," she's saying over and over.
I ask a man what happened to the lassie. "She got money oot the cash machine an ran across the road. She only looked the wan wey. I seen it a'. Her heid went right through the windscreen."

Over by the corner of Water Row, a blonde woman in her 40s is standing in some distress. Must be the driver. A young girl stands supporting her, arm around her waist. The woman is wide eyed and shaking. Someone comes out of the bank and tells her to go inside. The bank staff have said she can sit down and wait in there till the police come. The woman hangs back and doesn't seem able to move but she is surrounded by women saying not to worry, it wasn't your fault, she came flying out of nowhere. She moves slowly inside. I see a smart little mini cooper in red and white sitting at the edge of the road. Wow, there's a hole the size of a football in the windscreen, splintered glass radiating out from it.

I know the pal's face and from that I get a picture of who it is lying so still in the street. They are a couple of tearaways grown old, 'girls' in their late 30s, dressed poorly, tough looking but with eyes that dart about fearfully, always on the lookout for what's going to set about them next; a car this time.

Standing guard over her in the middle of the road, are the two security men from the job centre. Smartly dressed in snowy white shirts and narrow black ties, they are grimfaced and taking this task very seriously. They direct traffic around the victim and make sure people don't get too close.

Two boys come running up and stop at the scene. One of them is the injured's cousin. Her pal tells them what happened and they stand looking glaiket and everyone in the crowd stares at them, expecting them to do something.
At this point, the ambulance pulls up, two paramedics get out and one crouches down to try to rouse her. The cousin is asked for her name and other details.
Someone from the crowd calls out, "Should you no' phone her ma, son?"
"Aye, aye," he nods and calls up on his mobile.

Across the road there's another band of concerned onlookers. There's quite a buzz in the air and lots of blethering about going to bingo, getting your hair done, starting a new job, while we await the next stage of recovery. For recovery it is! The paramedic is successful and suddenly we see her move and hear a wail of pain. Smiles break out all round. She's crying "very sore", as was said in the old days. "That's a good sign", people are saying and the woman is slid onto a stretcher and into the back of the ambulance.

Now the police car arrives. Now the pal disappears, hotfooting it across the road and into the throng. A policewoman gets out and tries to get details from the patient, but no luck there. Then she approaches the crowd, but noone seems to have seen much.
The man who saw it all starts walking off down Govan Road as soon as the police car draws up. Only one woman gives a statement. No one else saw a thing.

The cousin has crossed to watch from the other side of the street. The policewoman goes into the bank to speak to the driver. The paramedic is closing the ambulance doors when a few women start shouting to the cousin, "Are you no' better goin' wi' her son?" "Do ye no' think somebody should go wi' her?"
The cousin looks very reluctant and hangs back. But eventually he is harassed enough by the calls and walks half heartedly over to the ambulance.
After speaking to the driver, he turns to the crowd and shrugs his shoulders, saying, "Ah'm no' allowed". He looks sad about this, but the ladies all know that he's actually relieved and is now going to pass his cousinly duty onto another family member.

Drama over for us and I go into the bank. The driver is telling her story to the police, her supporters around her. She says her husband will have to come and get her. She just can't drive again. She just can't drive ever again.

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