On the sidewalk in front of the parking garage, a blind man who has fallen is attended by three firemen, a medic, and two policemen, all of whom squat on their heels and by so doing cover the fallen man with shadow. He sits among them with his legs splayed out, undoubtedly feeling their shadows putting cool hands on his face, and he reaches out a long way through darkness to rest his white fingers on the shoulder of his seeing-eye dog, a big, dull-looking black retriever, whose tongue is dripping, for this is a warm day in October, the afternoon sun tiny but fierce in the sky. The dog's plain face is bright with uneasy patience and the blind man's eyes are wide and white, as if a hand had risen up from the darkness inside him and taken his heart in its grip and pulled him down.
Two fire trucks and a squad car idle in the street. People are stopping nearby to see what has happened and what will happen next. Each of us is filled to the throat with some part of the same one fear, as if we had been gathered here to bear it away, and now a few of us turn from the fallen man and walk away or get back into our cars, each of us carrying part of the man's great fear, and it seems that perhaps because of this he now is feeling better, as he gets to his feet in the opening circle and shakes out his arms as if he were suddenly lighter.