Tuesday, December 21, 2004
In My Optimus Prime...
They say that it's good to take a different route to work every day. To help break the tedium. To ease the monotony and to quell the ever-impending sense of doom that usually accompanies your blurry-eyed early morning car journey.
So I took a different way this morning. No big deal, It was just a right turn later than the usual one I take. I usually don't take this one, though. On the left side of the street is a very cute, very Melrose-y Place-y looking apartment complex. Across from it is a convalescent home. It must be occupied with a lot of non-ambulatory guests because not once have I seen an old man or woman basking in the sun or one sneaking the occasional-not-encouraged cigarette under a dusty awning. I've seen a lot of ambulances and firetrucks in the past when I've gone down this street. It must be sad to live across from it - Melrose-y Place-y place or not.
This morning when I made my right turn, I immediately stopped because a firetruck partially blocked my path. I slowly squeezed by an oncoming car and saw another parked firetruck, and further down, an ambulance. I tried not to look, to see what the commotion was - expecting the worst. As I approached the ambulance I saw an Emergency Medical Tech guy wheeling a very old man in a bed towards the ambulance. The old man had tubes all around him and some stuck in his arms and some up his nose and the old man had no hair and his right arm was curled at the wrists and fingers joints almost straight up towards the sky. Kind of like an almost FUCK YOU gesture to the gods that really didn't pan out towards the end. I don't think he was dead because he wasn't covered up. I felt sad and turned my attention back towards the road.
Not a good way to start off a workday, I thought to myself.
So as my heart was trying not to feel sad, my eyes fell upon the chainlink fence from the Montessori Private School for young kids that borders the convalescent home. A small alley separates the two enormous buildings. Kids are always playing, throwing things around and probably hatching diabolical plans to technologically change the world as we know it.
But not this morning.
I saw five small children with their fingers curled and crooked in between the little diamonds of the chainlink fence. All silent with little gaping O mouths. They stared. I did too. My heart hurt again. I eventually passed. I hope he didn't. Maybe I do.
Just...those kids, man...seeing that at school...
How typical, Kev - Gee, you couldn't be anywhere else at this moment except here right now? My voice said...
But then I thought that it seemed somehow fitting that a man/boy such as myself happened to be cruising right by at that moment and happened to see the epitome of age followed by the innocence of youth. How I was just this ever-thinking voyeur floating between life and death. Always. Typical me situation. Caught between growing up and caught between going down.
For the rest of my car ride, I figured out all of the answers.
I did. Right there in the car.
Wait. No, I didn't.
I never will.
And that's what I figured out.
And that's the answer.
Both sides died a little that day.
Both sides moved on a little.
Only to grow a little bit more tomorrow.