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Sidewalk Tragedy Amid the car horns and sidewalk chatter, an old bum collapsed, gasping for air. He stretched out a gnarled hand, eyes burgeoning with fear, as a man reading a paper stepped around. I thought to administer mouth to mouth. My knees locked and I gawked, trying to recall life-saving maneuvers, wondering, is there no one else who knows these things, wasting precious time, until his eyes rolled back, his hand dropped to his chest and his whiskey-blood stopped flowing forever. For days I told everyone about the tragedy, how disconcerting it was to watch the life ebb out of the bum's dirty face, to be a helpless spectator in the face of certain death. I never said how grateful I was to be spared from having to bend down, breathe in his body odor or press my lips to his.
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