Earnestness, written almost illegibly on a face twisted by conflicting fears. Stricken with empathy, and terrified by his inability to assist. He’s not a doctor, nor a paramedic. Right now, he’s naught but a glorified crossing guard. He stands in the road, a tiny figure straddling the center line, the glow from his flashlight a feeble defense against the steel monstrosities that rush towards him. Another ambulance screams past, the third one of the night. A helicopter passes overhead, the sudden violent thrum of the rotors making him jump. He shakes his head, collects himself once more. He’ll wait there all night if need be, stuck as the surreal glow from the flares dances red across the asphalt. Another car pulls up, a distraught woman flinging queries with a maternal concern, while her son sits wide-eyed in the back seat. The fearful questions land in his heart, and stick like needles, unable to be answered. Silently, spitefully, he curses his ignorance, curses his job, curses people for inflicting these injuries on one another and calling them accidents. He falls to his knees. It’s well past midnight, the roads are clear for now. And so he sits there, disillusioned, wishing for something, anything, to wash the world away, along with all its greed, hatred, and stupidity. And gradually, as the flares go out, one by one, leaving him a silhouette against the light of his dropped flashlight, he realizes the futility of d*mning mankind. And slowly, his curses turn to quiet prayers, rising towards the infinite and constant stars.
A Drive Home
October 18, 2011