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Help! My Neighbor’s Having A Heart Attack and Now I Have To Talk To Them

I was hoping for a quiet weekend. Watering plants near the window, I noticed my neighbor outside, clutching his chest.

It’s a heart attack and I can see it, plain as day, right outside my living room.

This is typical Chuck, my 90-year-old neighbor. And as he stumbles to the lawn with a stiff left arm, I watch him and wait for about a minute to see if anyone else notices.

Shit. I guess this one’s on me.

Problem is: Chuck is the most talkative neighbor on our block. I have to specifically time my trips to the car just to avoid him, otherwise, I’m sucked into a half-hour of small talk about the weather, work, or how I shouldn’t park my cars on my lawn.

Honestly I barely even know Chuck, and it’s with good cause. Between screaming at his own leaf-blowing gardeners, or frequently criticizing Biden on Nextdoor, there is plenty to dislike.

I brave the social interaction, running outside with a pillow and bottle of water. I quietly judge Chuck for being sweaty and gross and I can see in his bloodshot eyes that he’s judging me for the exact same reason. But come on Chuck, not a good look, laying in dirt like that. While on hold with 9-1-1, I ask him what he thinks of SZA but he begins breathing more frantically.

I calm him down, hold his hand and make a mental note to use sanitizer later. I look into his eyes and tell him it will be OK, knowing this is all a lie and hoping I can head back inside to finish that ‘Yellowjackets’ episode.

Finally, a response on the line. As we wait for the ambulance, Chuck starts talking about how my dog barks all night. I want to tell him to shut up, but I don’t have to because he started making all these weird gurgling sounds.

I try to wake him up by asking questions I know he wants to answer like “What sort of stain do you use on your deck?” And instantly snaps back to reality. Fuck, now we have a connection. He takes strained breaths. This may be his last moment on earth, but I have an iced coffee to get back to and now I bet it’s at fucking room temp.

As soon as the ambulance arrives, I hurry inside and close my shades. Unfortunately Chuck’s survival means I’m going over to his house for dinner next weekend. It’s a whole conversation ritual every time I want to leave the fucking apartment, “thank you, thank you, you saved my life, blah blah blah…” Guess I’m never leaving my apartment again.