When it was all so new and then

We don’t know how it happens, most of us, but when the buttons are depressed, it doesn’t matter.  All we know is that help is supposed to arrive on the other end of the line.  What is amazing, is that it does.  No, I haven’t yet witnessed the serious misplay of signals and heard the agonizing death or continued battering that was yearning for my help, but in time I know it may happen.  A nearly perpetual un-ease as the tone sounds in my ear; an equally perpetual wondering if this is going to be the one that may change my life forever.  It can change things like that, I know it.  I don’t want to be on the receiving end of that disaster, but it must come, for life knows no way of stopping the things that have been set in motion.  No amount of prayer or forethought is going to prevent the inevitability in life.  It just happens.  Frantic voices and then ones of grogged sleep and substance induced stupors, lucid memories of the things that used to be there and the distressed sighs of the aged ones who just can’t remember.  Were they going to come this Tuesday or next Tuesday?  Why haven’t they shown up yet?  They were only coming from across town and it seems they should have been here hours ago and I lost my cell phone and need a report number for the insurance and the man next door refuses to turn down his stereo and my babies are trying to sleep and I just got done seeing patients until three this morning and I would so like to get some sleep before I have to start the day again and don’t you know that damned dog just won’t shut up and the man just kept hitting her and she was crying, screaming for help and I had to call and now I’m taking my babies downstairs to my daddy’s apartment so they won’t be upstairs where all of that stuff is happening and the one Indian guy was grabbing the lady around the throat and smashing her head into the lamp post and I didn’t know what else to do and you’ve got to send help quick…. And so we do our best to get the numbers in the right places and depress the right keys so that help can be sent with the speed of an electronic beep to rescue the perishing.  God rest ye, merry gentlemen.

“You don’t pray before you send your kids out there into the world?  How can you know that they’re going to be safe?”  You don’t know, I can’t know, and neither can you.  Shall I pray to Peter Pan?  Will Prince Charming rescue me like the risen savior?  Isn’t it all the same thing?  Who can know?  How can you ask that of someone so believing of the stories they’ve heard?  How can you dare to ask such a thing of someone like that?  I don’t ask it, I just wonder it.

I left behind friends and security to gain trepidation and a few dollars more an hour and the prospect of earning even more as time proceeds onward.  Probation for a year and who knows what’s going to happen in that year.  I keep telling myself to relax.  Just relax and answer the phone.  Almost one hundred and sixty times today I just answered the phone and tried to just answer questions or just send help on the way.

The man from Connecticut hung up when he had to hold for so long.  Sorry, but I had some emergency cell-phone hang-up calls to answer.  The emergency-calls-holding-light kept flashing and I just knew that one of those blinks of light represented a life in distress.  In the past, at my former job, a sheet of green paper represented an infection of one sort or another, which was fine, no biggie.  Now the beep of a 9-1-1 call represents life or the absence of it, depending upon which side of the beep you look at.  Depending upon which side of the beep you were sitting at and how many times you had to listen to the recording saying please can you hold for a just minute more until we can get to you; please let me interrupt your story of how you got burglarized three years ago and just found your Elvis painting on black velvet at a yard sale so I can suggest that we’re going to get there in time to save your blue skinned baby.  I don’t know how long it will take but we’ve broadcast your call to officers in the area and they’re going to get there as soon as they’re able.  Please try to stay calm, and yes, Help is on the way.
Advertisements

2 responses

  1. Another BRILLiantly written piece reminding me of the important job that our employees continue to do, and do well, on a daily basis. You do such a wonderful job of bringing to life that which becomes mundane. Resurrecting the reality of what tends to become fantasy after so many years on the job. Thanks man.

    November 18, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    • seekraz

      You’re most welcome, Jason…and thank you for the comments. 🙂

      November 18, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Thank you for visiting...it would be great to hear from you....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s