I saw a security guard pumping the man's chest while I saw another telling him to "not leave us right now"just as the ambulance was pulling up. The medics hooked him to an EKG put a pumpable breathing mask over his mouth and he was aliveish when they took him away soon after; uncovered with chest spontaneously moving. Whether it was an OD or simple heart attack I don't know though given the brevity of his resuscitation I would guess the former.
I had seen my grandparents slowly fade from cancer in their eighties and then my cousin from the same at much younger. But I had never before seen a non-elderly person (the man looked to be in his forties) on the frontier between death and life to maybe go either way. And I had just read a very emotionally affecting comic book about dogs trying to survive the human post-apocalypse in the Denver library where all of this went down. The combination made me lose my composure in a way I never do; openly weeping chanting Hail Mary's and just publicly acting the damn clown in sum.
And yet why the hell do I write of myself when my heart hasn't stopped lately? I usually only read the top three or four articles in the Denver Post and if the man died it would have made page eleven or so. If he had lived it would not have been mentioned at all. Justt another day of homeless junkie shit at the DPL. So your guess is as good as mine.
I seem to recall the nineties spike in heroin use (if that was even real instead of a moral panic) was more amusing to me than this one, probably because my own death was of course more distant. Here I've seen a man carrying a foily of brown about this very same library. He lacked for a lighter and was willing to share with anyone who had a Bic. It happens that I had three but generally reserve the right to use for tobacco trades. I've also seen a skater kid openly hitting a meth bubbler in the park across. The quasi-girlfriend I had and seems gone now quasi-bonded with me over a shared luck in dabbling in heroin and managing to avoid needing it after.
You've probably heard the same noise I have about white people doing more heroin. I cannot speak for whether this is actual or anecdotal. You've probably also noticed the obviously-not-incidental softening of normative attitudes towards addiction. It is oft-stated but still true that the high from mainlining must be truly wonderful for all that.
I've loosely associated myself with a loosely associated group of buskers, train hoppers, hippie-punk hybrids, heads. One train-hopping kid was stuck in Salt Lake in six months, a fate I fear more than death. Last night someone stole his pack with cold-weather jacket inside. He claims to have once chased a public domestic abuser for half a mile for the chance to serve him in kind. This strikes me as self-mythologizing but we've bonded even so.