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Monday, November 21, 2005Perfection
It was around two o’clock in the morning. My partner Dial, the slim dark skinned guy you saw me with tonight, and I were curled up in the front of our ambulance casually watching the scene at Club Calypso. The doors would swing open and closed every minute or so, allowing the reggae beats to wash over us like a wave coming in and ebbing away from the shore. Under the dim streetlights below the El train its denizens would ride that wave of sound to the beaches of silence. Alternating between the flashing strobe lights inside for light hearted fun and the dark corners outside for dark deeds.
This is our holy day service. It is here that we sit to commiserate over the week past while those inside the club push the past week a little further along. Usually the high point is signaled by the sounds of gunshots or the slick silence of highly polished metal sliding through tender meat to release the red flow. Our service is one that usually culminates in pain and misery. We deliver communion to the poor wretches in the form of oxygen and bandages. We accept them into our sanctuary and deliver them with the glow of rotating lights and wailing banshees in a box to you and yours on the hill. That is how it usually goes.
But tonight our lord, our dispatcher Marcus, called down to us in his raspy voice from up above, “One David, I need you for the intox.” My partner and I both looked at the microphone, neither of us moving to take it. “One David, I know you’re out there. Answer the radio or I’m giving you the tone,” he called again.
… or not.
Perfection is one of those intangible elements… it’s the myth the mice in the maze cling to. Chasing the cheese… chasing the moment of perfection where they are one with all of their wants, needs, or desires. They never reach that moment… for it is the mice who stop looking for the ideal moment… they are the one’s who the cheese itself finds… and perfection is proven to be a fallacy in the moment of clarity that the cheese is not all it is cracked up to be.
I revel in imperfection. I am an imperfect person… working in an imperfect workplace… with imperfect co-workers… and I have imperfect family and friends as I live my incredibly imperfect life… and above all I have the most imperfect writing.
So why? Why revel in such imperfection? Because imperfection helps to define not only our individuality but also our independence. That, above all, is what I can say I do love about life. The freedom to choose… the freedom of diversity… the freedom of being as imperfect as I want to be.
Freedom comes at a price. To be able to live in imperfection has a price… paid on the outside by forcing us to live on the fringes of society. Paid on the inside by the torturing of our souls on a minutely basis. However we serve a purpose… to remind those stuck within the maze that there is another way out…
These nightly crusades are our mission in life. To tend to the sick and care for the injured. To help those who cannot help themselves. To ease the pain and suffering that people find themselves unable to bear. All of these are noble causes. In truth it is more cab rides than saving lives out here. There are those who try to deny it, but I accept it as my task in this life. Perhaps it is yet another failed attempt to receive reconciliation for the sins of my past, but I have begun to think it is simply that the hours suit me.
…down the rabbit hole…