WHOOP ain't just a personalised digital fitness trainer!
It’s over. The little kid is asleep and his makeshift bed in a vestibule is being painted by a light sea mist delivered by a spring onshore.
A few hours earlier, the house had been the site of a moderately wild teenage bacchanal, although nothing out of the ordinary.
A dozen or so of ‘em sending it, I’m later told: boys with their synthetic cannabinoid products and girls upending bottles of pink moscato, whispering gossipy stories loudly, sweating as they twirl and laugh and dance, all of ’em sucking hell out of their Mango Tango and Watermelon Wave vape pens.
The boys posture as tough, slightly dangerous, devil-may-care characters, drinking and smoking more than their most of ‘em can handle. As the night wears, pools of spew, in hideously abstract shapes, decorate the garden.
One kid hits the synthetics more than he should, drinks more than he can, hallucinates, panics, heart is bouncing out of his chest.
I’m doing my midnight rounds of Bondi, searching for inspiration on these lonely walks, cataloguing various mistakes and ways of repeating ‘em over and over, when the party pours out onto the front lawn.
Someone yells to call an ambulance.
A kid collapses on the front lawn.
Can you doing anything, they ask as I stop, mistaking me for someone capable.
He says it’s his heart.
I throw two fingers at the usual pulse points.
I ain’t no doctor. It feels fast. Is it 120 or 220?
I claw at my WHOOP, wrap it around the kid’s little wrist and open the app.
Heart at 140, hitting wild 170 bumps.
Will he go into cardiac arrest?
I ask the other kids if he’s had any pills.
No, no, no, of course not, they chorus.
I tell ’em it’s time to be real. It could mean keeping your pal alive. If it’s pills, the kid is going in an ambulance.
They swear it’s weed and booze.
It’s a good sign.
Doing something, and having a little knowledge, is the key in these sorta situations according to my pal who makes tourniquets for surfers. The simple act of having something to do, he says, takes away the panic, lets you take a step back, assess matters.
I hold the kid’s head, keep a reassuring hand on his back.
You’re good, you’re good, I tell him.
I watch the heart-rate steady at 140 and the spikes subside.
Gradually, it dips below 100 and sits on sixty, sixty-five as weed-induced panic turns into a deep sleep.
An elderly neighbour says the kid can sleep in the front room of her joint. We get his parents’ number and call ‘em. They’re thirty away.
I stay with the kid, monitoring the heart steady at fifty-nine now, until his parents arrive.
Much thanking, shaking hands and so on.
Forced to rip my personalised digital fitness trainer off kid’s wrist as he’s carried to car, however.