There is an anxious crowd on the corner of Hungerford as we come lights and sirens down Park Street. A woman with tattooed arms waves for us to hurry. A man is on the ground with a crowd clustered around him. I can see another man kneeling over his chest. His arms together like he is doing CPR. “They hit him twice,” a bystander says to me. “Lot of people packing it on this corner.”
“He was just walking along and down he went,” another says.
“He gave him four in the right,” the first man says, and then nodding toward a shorter man wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates hat, “and he gave him two in the left.”
The man on the ground has his eyes open now and starts looking around as the crowd cheers.
“You oded, man,” a man says to him, still holding the syringe with the atomizer on it.
“I did not,” he says. “What are you all looking?”
“Man, you were out. I did CPR on you, man.”
“No, I fine,” he says. “I just fell out.”
“No, man,” a man with the 4 mg nasal spray in his hand says. “You weren’t breathing. We gave you Narcan, man.”
“No, I’m good I’m good.”
He insists he did not do drugs, but with the crowd’s backing, we get him on our stretcher and take him to the hospital. On the way, he admits he snorted a bag. This is the second time this week he has oded, he says.
In Tombstone, a man would drop a glass in a bar, and everyone would whip out their six-guns and point it at him. In Hartford, everyone is also packing. A man drops down in the street and everyone whips out their narcan. Just like the wild wild west.
Note: Park and Hungerford is also the twice a day location of the needle exchange van, where in addition to passing out clean needles, they provide narcan training and hand out free kits.