Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mostly at Night

You finally get back to the station sweaty and exhausted. You just came back from a shooting, stabbing, accident with injuries, take you pick. All you can think of laying down before you get another run. You fall on you bunk not even bothering to take off you clothes. You just luxuriate in the in the wonderful feeling of being in bed.

As soon as you close your eyes your right back in it, a series of black and white close ups of the scene fill your head. Always closes ups. Other times it is a slow motion reply, again and again rolling through your head. A running commentary goes as the scene gets played back in your head. “What did I miss?”. Could I have started the IV faster? Put the tube down faster? Should I have scooped and run instead of getting the IV first? Should I have checked the breath sounds sooner? But it is always the pictures. Blood matted eyelashes. The man with no face after he put a shotgun under his chin. Two bunker coated arms thrusting out of a smoke filled window a still smoking baby cradled in the hands. The house blowing fire out of all the windows. The half open eyes of someone you know is dead but who you still have to work. The images never go away. Sometimes they won’t let you sleep. You get up and wander into the ready room and stare at the TV but not really watching, people are laughing at some joke on the Tonight show. You stare the TV not really watching it until 3am when no matter what you finally might be able to go to sleep. So you stumble over to your bunk and fall into a semi sleep. Hopefully those images don’t follow you home but some do. Some stay fresh for years. And now for decades. They crawl out from behind the wall you construct. It is mostly at night. 

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