by David McElroy
A couple of months ago, Thanksgiving day started out with some unexpected drama on my street. At about 12:30 a.m., I heard emergency vehicles screaming down the street. They stopped right next door to my house. I had no idea at the time that a man was dying just a few feet away from me.
As I watched, emergency crews went in and out of the house for at least half an hour, hurrying to get things from their vehicles. I took pictures of the bright red scene — as you see above — but I never knew what was going on. I finally went back inside and the trucks and ambulances left. I assumed someone might have been taken to a hospital. Maybe it was a fall. Or a heart attack. I just didn’t know.
It wasn’t until the next afternoon that I talked with another neighbor who told me what happened. I don’t know the woman who lives in the place where the emergency crews were working. I’ve seen her a few times, but we’ve never talked. I just knew she lived alone with her young daughter, who I’ve spoken to briefly a few times
What I didn’t know is that the woman’s brother had come to stay with them. I don’t know how long he had been there or why he had come, but it was apparently more than just a brief visit. Even if I had known he was there, though, I would have had no way to know that he was dying of a heroin overdose that night.