“¡AGUAS!” he cried.
Mexican people do that.
It means “Careful!” and they’re always
yelling it two seconds after
your near death slip off a curb.
This time, there was a follow up.
“You don’t want the Cruz Ambar to come!”
The Yellow Cross?
Let me explain.
In Mexico, everything is hot,
even the competition to get you on a stretcher.
The Cruz Roja got too big for its scrubs,
and some enterprising paramedic founded Cruz Ambar.
When the emergency airwaves squawk
about a person in distress,
the race is on.
Which color runs fastest?
Which color gets paid?
Cruz Ambar wasn’t just second place during naming:
Their responders get second-rate training.
Their equipment’s out of date.
Yellow is the color of higher chance of infection
but – to be fair – it’s not the black of death.
If they arrive first to claim you, you can refuse care.
The Red Cross will be just minutes behind.
Unconscious, though, you are assumed colorblind.
Into the crayon box ambulance you go!
So perhaps yelling “¡AGUAS!” after someone’s close call
is less a tardy warning,
and more a grateful prayer on their behalf.
Today, they didn’t have to choose
between the primary and secondary colors of pain.
Jennie authors the blog Tip of My Tongue. By day, she works as the coordinator for a university writing program. She loves playing with ideas and has been known to follow her passions down some very colorful roads.