The ETF did a bang-up job (sorry) of taking down the gunman and releasing the hostages. There were some tense moments after they realized that one of the hostages had explosives strapped to his body, but those of us who were ambulatory were successfully evacuated and brought to a group of waiting paramedics.
My euphoria at having survived was mistaken for shock, so I was made to lie down on the ground and asked to await medical attention. I wandered off while the paramedics were busy with more seriously injured victims. I wasn't missed, but another EMT spotted me a while later and forced me to sit down and control my breathing. Eventually everyone with minor injuries was taken to the ER. Since a bomb had exploded on a school bus and there had been a terrorist attack on the subway system, the ER was swamped. I was sent to a family practice for sutures.
A kindly nurse stitched up my forehead and then rushed off, leaving a physician to bandage my wound. He fumbled with the gauze and apologetically explained that doctors are not trained to apply bandages. He instructed me not to tell anyone who had wrapped my wound, since he had done such an awkward job of it. My lips are sealed, Dr. Hebert.
My wound healed within a half hour, and I then became a diabetic having a heart attack. I tried to make it to the ER but collapsed at the front doors. I lay on the ground for several minutes, paramedics shoving my body out of the way as they rushed by with gurneys, until someone figured out that I needed help. To my great surprise and dismay, the ER staff determined that I was a cocaine addict.
Later on I became the wife of a man whose throat and lungs were burning after he had inhaled fumes at the scene of the bus bombing. We got into an argument over whether the real cause of his distress was the chili dog he'd had for breakfast. The nurse sided with me; it was probably the chili dog.
What's that? No no, it's wasn't a dream. It was part of a:
Lord help us if this city ever experiences a real disaster with mass casualties.