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  • “Dad. There was a man lying on the sidewalk.”
    My granddaughter and I had just returned from our walk to the grocery store, one block down and one block over. She’s four. Excuse me. Four and a half.
    On Fairfax between Norton and Hollywood Blvd. we saw a man lying flat on the sidewalk. His right forearm cradled his face. Was he dead? No, his chest was rising and falling.
    I held Lily’s hand and reached into my pocket for my phone. Was this some sociology student’s class project, get a friend to stretch out on the sidewalk, film it from across the street, watch pedestrians walk by and ignore him? Put it up on YouTube for the world to see?
    “Grandma called the Fire Department.”
    I’d noticed a cane half hidden by his body. And a wide plastic ID bracelet on his wrist, the kind you get in a hospital.
    “And he was crying.”
    We heard the siren within minutes, and watched while the Fire Department’s paramedic truck pulled up to the curb. The fireman looked to the sidewalk, then up to catch my eye and gave me a nod. “Hey Ronnie. What’s going on?” They knew him.
    “Lily, we can go now. The Firemen are going to take good care of him.”
    Later that evening Lily said, “That man on the sidewalk… I think he got some medicine.”
    Together we constructed a happy ending for Ronnie. He got medicine, took a nap at the hospital, woke up and ate a bowl of soup and called a friend.
    “And then he went home.” Lily said. She needed to get him home.
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