Not very good Samaritan


I didn’t sleep very well this morning, waking at 5 and unable to doze off again. I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since last week: ones where you pass out drunk or wake up hungover don’t count. Trying to exhaust myself so that I’d sleep tonight, I trotted out for a run at 6:22.

As I passed the entrance to Chinatown MRT, I saw a white guy, shaven head, mid 20s, wearing smart trousers and a blue shirt, lying asleep on the pavement. I carried on running. That wasn’t a very good thing to do.

I went home down another road, got dressed, rushed out the door at 7:15. I had scheduled a call at 7:30 to catch the ears of people in Seattle. That isn’t the action of a man who is committed to avoiding sleep deprivation, especially when he has another call that’s scheduled for 11:30pm the same day.

The quickest route to the office takes me past Chinatown MRT. The man was still lying there. As I approached, intent on ignoring him and rushing on, I saw a woman give the supine chap a dirty look. She managed to rotate her head through almost 180 degrees to elongate the time she could spend looking disapproving at him, without breaking stride.

Seeing this disdain for one’s fellow man, I was moved with concern and stopped to see if he was alright. He’d been lying on his back for at least an hour without moving, and I began to worry that he might not be alright. I crouched down next to him.

“Hello?” I said, and nudged his shoulder. He didn’t respond. I saw a particularly large piece of snot in one of his nostrils. I persisted, nudging him again. “Are you alright?”

Nothing. He was still breathing, after all, and seemed quite content. Envious though I was that somebody was getting a decent snooze this morning, I didn’t have time to persist at being persistent, so I got up and went on my way. I wondered if I should have at least tried to roll him into the recovery position. Maybe it’s better to let sleeping men lie. At least he wasn’t face down in his vomit like a man I saw in Clarke Quay while I was out running last year.


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