A man boarded the tram and walked right up to the front to sit down. He sat at the "please make this seat available for people who really need to sit down" spot.
You know for Nanna's and pregnant ladies and stuff.
His seat is just in front of mine.
He sits facing to the right, I am facing forwards. So he is in my direct line of vision.
The man has a long beard, but not the hipster kind.
He wears a bucket hat, a flannelette shirt with holes at the elbows, and over the top of that, he wears a long yellow cotton dress. His skin is covered in dirt, and his hand has a cut that has bled, dripped down his hand a little bit, and the blood had started to dry.
The wound is open, not deep, the blood is bright red.
Mine is the next stop.
He notices the line of blood on his hand and starts to try and rub it away. He is neither gentle nor careful. He is vigorously rubbing at the open cut.
I'm 1 minute away from my stop.
I open up my bag, whip out a bandaid, lean over the seat in front of me and say
"Would you like a bandaid? For your hand?"
Like a shy child, he nods and gently takes the bandaid from my hand.
The tram is pulling into my stop.
This is the moment I realise this man has no idea how to open a bandaid.
He starts trying to bite at it, but he can't get it open (cus you know, you've gotta pull that little bit at the top and it just peels open).
So I stand up and walk over to him and ask him if he wants some help.
Again, like small child, he nods, and meekly hands the bandaid wrapper back to me.
I open it up.
Now, there are still 2 plastic bits that need to be removed... So I start to open it up, not the whole way, and I sort of say "so..this bit...goes on the ... umm"
OKAY pause for a second.
Let's get one thing straight.
EVEN PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT WEARING A DRESS OVER A FLANNY HAVE A HARD TIME PUTTING A BANDAID ON YOUR OWN HAND.
It's a two handed operation. This guy couldn't even open it.
OBVIOUSLY I am VERY concerned about making ANY CONTACT with this open wound because I'm not STUPID.
But also, I am stupid, because I couldn't just be like "Okay here you go" hand him the half opened bandaid and get off the tram never to see him again.
I stayed on the tram.
The tram pulls away from my stop. I am still with the man.
He holds his hand up, looks at the cut, then looks to me.
I Very, very carefully place the bandaid on his hand, not making any contact with the skin.
Now I've placed it on there, removed one side of the plastic, and said "Okay, now just pull this bit of plastic this way, pointing the direction he needs to pull so the bandaid will stick down.
He starts pulling the plastic upwards. Disaster. The bandaid shifts out of place and is no longer fully covering the area. I try to say again "you have to pull it this way" I'm miming the movement. He's not on board.
At this stage the bandaid is mainly just sitting on regular skin and had moved off the affected area.
I pull the other side of the bandaid, and so carefully stick it down.
I tell him he needs to wash his hand so it doesn't get infected.
He just looks at me with big eyes and nods.
The tram driver holds his hi-vis evst over half of his face. The man isn't that smelly... The driver says to me "You'll get a disease".
The man looks at me with eyeballs like no one had ever even said hello to him, let alone put a bandaid on his hand.
So I got off at the next stop. Walked home. Washed my hands and wrote this blog post.
So if you don't hear from me ever again. You'll know why.