[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y first cellphone was a Nokia. An ugly thing with a wrist-strap. I never understood those straps. Never once did I see anyone carry their ten-pound clunker with a wrist-strap.

But I hardly used the phone, it was only for emergencies.

One such emergency took place at four o’clock in the morning. I was delivering three hundred morning newspapers to a high-rise condo on the beach. Twenty-nine floors. I happened upon a drunk woman in the stairwell of the fourteenth floor.

She was bleeding like an upside-down rabbit.

I used my new cellphone to dial 911, then I sat beside her. The woman didn’t even know she was injured, she was too busy singing Aretha Franklin songs in her stupor.

When the medics arrived she swatted at them. “Don’t touch me!” she yelled. “Don’t you know who I am?”

Apparently not.

She laughed. “I’m the Queen of Soul, dammit!”

The medics showed her all the R-E-S-P-E-C-T they could muster, but she was too tanked to notice. They finally loaded her into the ambulance while she belted out another chorus of an Aretha anthem.

Turns out, my cellphone saved the woman’s life. The medics said if she’d laid there any longer, she would’ve bled to death by the third verse. But Lady Soul didn’t feel any gratitude toward me.

She dog-cussed me from inside the ambulance.

Later that week, I figured out why. While on my paper-route, I noticed a section on the front page that caught my eye.

The article headline read: “Deliveryman rescues drunk state representative’s wife.”



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