Saving the Life of Another

We're sitting at the bar talking, Barry and I, and he's telling me about how he went to India.

There, one day he was sunning himself on a rock island in the middle of the Ganges when people on the banks started yelling at him, "Save the boy," they yelled in their native tongue. "Fetch him." He didn't understand and didn't see what they were referring to. What he didn't see was a small Indian boy being sucked under by the currents.

Barry stood still for a moment. And waited. For things to pass. He looked down river but didn't see what the commotion was about. He stood. Still.

A woman on the bank Barry knew wanted him to dive in after the boy. She wanted him to be the hero. But he wasn't that. He didn't even see the boy. Also, "I don't have the hero complex," Barry told me at the bar.

So he stood, Barry did, on that rock. And watched water. Barry watched and waited as the boy went under.

Another woman Barry knew from his travels also watched what was going on. From the other bank, this another woman saw Barry and the boy. But she, not knowing that Barry didn't even see the young child, wished Barry to remain on the rock. Not to jump but to just be there. And not put himself in harm's way. Just stay where I can see you, she must have thought.

The fate of the boy's was his own and not Barry's. If he'd die it was because he needed to die, and not because Barry, who'd remain, couldn't rescue him. Don't do it, Barry, the other woman on the other bank must have thought.

In the end he didn't, Barry didn't even see the boy. Instead, he stood on the rock and realized there was a boy. And that that boy got swept under. He saw people jump in the river after him. But he, Barry, he didn't jump. He stood and waited.

And later he was told by the girl on the bank, "I'm gland you didn't jump in after him.

"I was thinking the whole time, I hope he doesn't jump in the river after that boy."

She knew that if Barry dove in, that he might also die, that they could both die in the Ganges. She must have thought that Barry diving in the river trying to save the life of the boy would probably cost him his own.

Barry didn't even see the boy at first. Or he would have dove in, he says, sitting at the bar.

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