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Ambulance Chase In A Blizzard

April 6, 1982

Foxborough, Massachusetts

Early that morning my boss called and told me The Educational Cooperative had cancelled day programs-I had the day off. I was looking forward to relaxing & reading. In those days I had no TV- I got my news from NPR radio & my subscriptions to Africa News, Barricada (the English language edition of the Sandinista weekly, & Worker’s World.)

I was catching up on current events late in the morning;( sad to hear about Judge Abe Fortas passing) when I got a knock on my door. My next door neighbor Joe was an Italian immigrant who spoke very little English. He had become upset that his sister Francesca went to work leaving him alone. He got drunk, swallowed a bottle of Dristan, & called making her leave the Cumberland Farms Store in a panic. Francesca didn’t know who to call. We started with Poison Control & were advised to call an ambulance to take him to Norwood Hospital. Francesca joined Joe in the Ambulance & I followed in my 1974 Pinto driving up Route 1 in almost whiteout conditions. I saw two cars spin out and kept my hands glued to the steering wheel praying the car wouldn’t skid.  At the ER they made Joe throw up & found an Italian speaking therapist to talk withhim & Francesca. They got him to promise not to mix liquor & Dristan anymore.

Late that afternoon Joe was released from the hospital. We had a slow drive back to Foxborough in the snow. Joe looked pretty sheepish-he wasn’t able to look me in the eye .

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Written by PaulPallazola

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4 Comments

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  1. I don’t think that people should be decried for trying to commit suicide – it’s symptomatic of depression, rather than of weakness. I tried to commit suicide when I was younger, and I found that my best friend was cheating on me with my flat mate. Any time I feel awful now, and that life could be easier, I think “You ungrateful sod – you should love life!” But at the time I felt the worst things about myself…

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