I was completely appalled at something I saw the other day during a trip to shopping area..hmmm...
As always...the place was heaving with shoppers and tourists and driving along the main street was a real challenge.
People walk out from nowhere....shouting at their kids to get a move on...."expecting" cars to just stop as they jay-walk in the middle of the road.
It's an area with a lot of shops and therefore attracts a lot of people....most of whom arrive by car.
One has to be careful when driving through as the danger of clipping someone as they forget about the ferocity of cars becomes all the more apparent.
I drive my mother’s old car which is not a big and powerful car....and even though I can handle it....it does cause a headache when people just walk in front of it when it's moving.
Just as I approached the pedestrian crossing....the lights turned to red.
I stopped...as you do...hmm...
There must have been around twenty people stood at that crossing...together with another thirty at least standing by the bus stops.
Then I noticed a young woman and what looked like her younger sister pushing a rather large middle-aged man in a wheelchair.
They were seriously struggling to get the chair off the curb and very nearly tipped the man out.
My first reaction was to look at the other people all crossing at the same time as I automatically assumed someone would go to assist.
Not one person bothered to help that woman...not one...hmmm....
Out of the dozens of people who stood within centimeters away from that family struggling to get across the road....not one measly person helped.
There were a lot of men in the vicinity who could easily have pushed that chair to the other side but no....that would have been too much trouble.
When the woman eventually got to the other side the struggle started again and by now the lights had turned back to green.
I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the man behind me shaking his head before he rudely hand signaled to me in an effort to encourage me to go.
The young woman....her sister (as I assumed she was) and the man....whom I assumed was their father....were still in the road....struggling to get the chair up the curb.
I couldn't stand it any longer.
Still no one helped so I opened my door and shouted...."do you need some help?"
The sister turned round and stared at me.
I'm sorry.....but I can't stoop to the level of people who don't even bother to offer....that young girl looked at me as though I was out of order for even asking.
I'd rather be stared at as though I've got two heads than be branded as ignorant.
But it does make you think, doesn't it?
Contextual Notes to 'Smoke & Mirrors' - 'Smoke & Mirrors', (*A New Ulster*). Some notes were omitted from the book *About Time: Poems & Adaptations 1993 - 2012* due to the length of the ones that...
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