They call us the ghetto medics, 911 rig riders responding to emergencies in the 313. Bullets over our heads, gang fights by our trucks, drug seekers faking pain, and drivers trying to beat our lights and sirens; like they got something better to do. I didn’t even mention the patients yet, shoot I didn’t even start on the drama which is fubar; fucked up beyond all repair, and I would say this patient right now is just that.
“Manny, what is you doin’?” my partner Paul scoffed at me as I run over to the first patient.
The bathtub sits empty, full of cold water, and cold hearts and cold memories. The sun seeps in through the window, and refracts against the water, casting rainbows on the white tile floor. Taho knows it is supposed to be beautiful, but it is the ugliest thing he has ever seen. He cannot bear the sight of the tub, cold and lifeless. He blames the bathtub. He blames his hands. He blames the grains of sand. But mostly, he blames himself.
I was falling. I mean I had fallen before; from a bed to a plush carpet, a bus to the muddy ground, from the 13th stair all the way to the 1st. Yes, I had fallen before; always getting a scrape or a bruise or lesson, but I would get up. I would survive; they were never really a great distance. But at seventeen that fall from that bus felt like it broke bones, tore ligaments, ripped flesh a gape, but at 20, I know it was just a bruised ego, and at 14, when I missed that stair and my life seemed to flash before my eyes and I thought I’d die.