Whose reality is it anyway?
Tuesday, July 15th, 2008
I was walking down mainstreet in Blowing Rock, NC Saturday and noticed a well-dressed middle-aged guy who had paused behind a parked mini-van. His leg was jerking a little and he looked like he was concentrating really hard. I asked whether he was OK and he said, loud and clear and coherently, “yes, I’m fine.”
I sat down on a bench not too far away and watched him. He started to lean on the van’s protruding spare tire and shove it. I went over and asked again, “are you OK?”
He said again, very clearly and in a normal voice “I’m fine.”
20 seconds later, he was flat on his back, looking up at the sky.
“I’m going call 911, OK?”
“No, I’m OK,” he said.
At this point, the guy is sweating and looking pale, so I said cognitive dissonance be damned and ignored his opinions and called 911. A woman stopped and asked the guy if he’s diabetic and he said yes; she gave him a peppermint. Two minutes later he’s sitting up, and the paramedics arrive. I head off to dinner.
Later I learned that diabetics suffering from extreme low blood sugar can become unrooted and report that they’re fine even as they’re melting down. I’m still unnerved by the memory of trying to square this guy’s disintegrating physical condition with his bald-faced statements to the contrary.