Hit by a Car [Mushrooms with Wheat Berries]

Trying to make sense of what happened tonight while m hay and I were waiting out our pizza order on a bench.

The bench is near a Green P parking lot. Two people are coming across the lot out of the corner of my eye. They don’t get far in two minutes or so.

I look over and a woman I recognize as a junky from the neighbourhood is supporting a tall guy in a sport team hoody and holding onto a little dog on a leash. The guy has a big white gauze bandage wrapped around his hand and arm and a cane. He can barely twitch his stiff limbs to move forward and is wincing in pain.

A man goes over to the pair. I overhear the woman say the man in pain has medication at his house two blocks away and they’re just trying to get there.

Well this guy isn’t walking two blocks. No way.

She asks to get into bystander man’s car. Bystander man walks away.

I go up and ask the pair if they need help.

The woman tells me the man was hit by a car just now. “Of course they didn’t have the decency to stop.” But his OHIP is expired so he can’t call an ambulance. He can’t afford to pay for it.

I suggest they call the police to report the hit and run and to get a ride to the hospital. She gets m hay to give her the only two dollars in cash we have on us for a cab ride. It’s American money leftover from our trip to Chicago.

She says the police don’t care about her and arrested her two days ago because she’s homeless.

We pick up our pizza and call an ambulance at once.

The man in pain is laying on the ground outside the parking lot with a group of people around him and the woman is running across the street — back and forth — into businesses.

We stay on the line with the operator. Sirens. He tells us it has already been reported.

Mushrooms with Wheat Berries
*from Moro: the Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark

50g dried wheat berries
1/2 onion
400g wild mushrooms
5 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and black pepper, to taste

Simmer the wheat berries in 1 litre of water with the onion for 40-60 minutes or until tender, then drain. Pick over the mushrooms for any bits. If they are particularly dirty, wipe them with a damp cloth. Stem mushrooms if necessary. Slice the mushrooms up roughly. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the garlic. As soon as it starts to colour, add the mushrooms and cumin. Stir for a minute, lower the heat and fry for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add wheat berries, coriander, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with warm flatbread, spiced yogurt and salad on the side.

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