Yesterday, walking along Flinders Street at peak hour, I watched the crowd in front of me part like the Red Sea. Rather than Moses, there was a man who, if not homeless then certainly down on his luck, was stumbling along the footpath, bleeding from his head.
A few feet before he reached me, he fell flat on his face. His arms didn’t keep up with this state of events and did nothing to break his fall. The result was the sound of skull cracking on concrete and a big splodge of blood. Undeterred, in that admirable way drunks do (I could smell him by now), he started to get up, but instantly fell forward, hitting the base of a pole, a bolt getting him in the eyebrow.
By now the guy was pissing blood like an extra in Kill Bill and on his back, turtle-like as he tried to figure out how he was going to get up. As I went towards him, I hardly noticed the crowd around us, but for some reason Sophie Mirabella suddenly popped into my head. “Are you okay?” I asked rather redundantly as I gave him my hand. He looked up and smiled as he grasped it and thanked me several times.