Thursday, November 12, 2009

Random Thoughts

1. There are names that I am always terrified I will get wrong:


No matter how well I know the person, no matter for how long, every time I utter her name, the split second before I speak it, a flash shoots off in my brain shrieking "WRONG ONE."

I have a friend named Dianna. I know her name is Dianna. I wonder if she's ever noticed the barely perceptible linger on the nn's as I second guess her name. Every. Single. Time.

If your name is Kirsten or Kristen, I probably won't even say your name ever. I will just look at you as if I am about to, and wait for your recognition.

On top of it all, I called one of my students by the name "Glen" the other day. His name is Neil. He looks like a Glen, though, not at all a Neil.

I tend to mix those name up, too, Glen and Neil. They only have a couple of letters in common. Maybe it's because they are both astronaut names.

2. The other night, we heard choking sounds from the alley below. The gagging noises were accompanied by distressed bleats, and after a few seconds we headed out to the sidewalk.

She was writhing on the ground, in a tee-shirt and sweat pants, grabbing at her throat. A few police officers were there, a few onlookers. One woman in pajamas bent over her, trying to ask questions and calm her down. As the spectator population grew, the victim's panic increased. She moaned and clawed at her neck, occasionally rolling over to spit on the ground.

Cop cars arrived, an ambulance was summoned. In the flashes of activity, we could piece together the story: She and her boyfriend had been fighting (and drinking, too, speculated one girl), the boyfriend hit her and then took off.

We headed back upstairs. There was nothing for us to do, no way to help without getting in the way.

I don't know how it resolved itself, or even if it did.

When we got upstairs, I was shaking and started to cry a little. It's troubling to see someone in that level of physical or mental distress. As we stood, hovering on the outskirts of the small phalanx, I felt the impulse to help. But to do what? The pajama-ed woman with the calming voice was doing the only thing any of us could until the ambulance got there.

I'm glad we went down, though. Even if there was nothing more to be done, at least we didn't sit with our ears clamped up in the apartment. I don't want to lose the impulse to at least try.



Dianna said...

Dianna is so used to having her name spelled wrong and pronounced wrong, she never notices your hesitation.

(Diane, Diana, Deanna, Dianne, you name it...)

Amanda said...

I have the same confusion/stress with "Kristen" and "Kirsten."

joe g said...

It's true. I don't know how many times I corrected our Director of Photography on how to pronounce Dianna's name.

nesses: a family of inland lake monsters in Great Britain.

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