Man I hated these threads.
Katie worked the midnight to 8am shift, which is why our dates never started earlier than four in the afternoon. Last night she'd had the night off ahead of her volunteer work as a ride-along in the Ambulance today, but she hadn't gotten much rest. After we'd gotten back to her place from the fag bar, she'd been as good as her word and we'd tried a different kind of dance. In the front room, in the kitchen, the bedroom, in the shower.... girl had talent, and she could go all night, damn I got lucky here.
She picked me up a paramedic uniform and told me to meet her out by Unit 71; she'd take care of all the paperwork. Just after midnight she came out, looking all clean and antiseptic and white in her uniform.... God I wanted to tear it off her and get her dirty.
"Hey ba-" I started.
"Professional, Carl, we have to be professional," she warned in a low voice, shaking her head,"If anyone found out I was taking a non-trained, non-licensed boyfriend on an ambulance round I'd be fired in a second."
"Oh, my bad," I said, feeling my cheeks burning, and saw a little smile on her face.
"Tonight your name is Gene, and Gene is enjoying a paid night off, of the record."
"He don't know what he missing," I grinned as she stepped up into the back of the ambulance, speaking low so no one could hear,"Damn she looks fine in that outfit."
"So what we do?" I asked her through the little sliding window.
"Just cruise the streets, CJ," she told me,"Wait for a call to come through, then we go pick up the patient and I do what I can for them while you drive back to the hospital."
"That it?" I asked, surprised.
"That's it," she smiled.
"Hell, what's the big deal," I grinned, started up the Ambulance and driving it out of the hospital entranceway,"Getting paid to cruise the streets on Saturday night? Sweet."
Damn, okay maybe not.
"Damn, homie, what happened to you?" I asked the brother as he slid up in the front seat, holding a pack of ice to his face that Katie had given him. She'd checked him out after we pulled over to pick him up, and said he was okay to sit in the front with me, and we wouldn't take him back to the hospital till we had a few more people in the ambulance who needed more urgent help.
"Fugging boleez," he said, voice all fucked from what had been done to his nose,"Pigged me ub, seb I match describshin.... fubbers, just coz I'm blag."
The cops had put through the call for an ambulance after picking through his identification and realizing he wasn't they man. They'd probably thought about making up some bullshit about resisting arrest until they looked at his Dashiki and realized he'd probably be more trouble than he was worth and just called the ambulance.
"Shit, 5-0 is 5-0, no matter the city," I said.
"I hurd dab," agreed the brother,"I'b Rashan, dib I hear dab fine liddle piece bag dere call you Carl?"
"My name's Gene," I said, shaking his hand,"Pleased to meet you, Rashan."
"Plezzed to meed you, Gene," he said.
"Hey," I grinned,"Call me Carl."
"Dab guy gonna be obay?" Rashan asked as he got out of the car, pulling the ice pack away from his face, showing his fucked up nose. The "guy" was an Indian dude we picked up standing on the side of the street holding his hand to his side, bleeding like a stuck pig. He refused to say anything to Katie or to me, just got into the back of the ambulance holding his side, let Katie look over him, but wouldn't answer any questions, just staring straight ahead, fixed expression on his face, a heavy sweat the only sign he in pain.
"Katie say yeah, just gonna have a nasty scar and be laid up for awhile," I told him,"You get your nose fixed up, brother, and don't get caught WWB again."
"Walging while blag, habn't hurd dab in awhile," he grinned,"Take care of yourselb, GeneCarl."
Katie got back into the back of the ambulance after helping the Indian dude into the hospital, and grinned at me through the sliding window,"How's it going?"
"Simple so far, what up with the Indian dude?"
"Don't know," she said,"Maybe he's just proud? We get alot of that, best not to think about it, you usually don't find out anymore about them."
"Really?" I asked,"Man I'd hate that, I'd wanna know all about what happened to them."
"They pass through our lives quickly and are gone, Carl," she told me,"Like ships in the night... here."
She handed me a bottle full of blue liquid and a rag.
"What this for?" I asked.
"The blood and melted ice down on the passenger side floor," she laughed,"You don't think we let our patients sit in other people's muck, do you?"
"I thought ambulances got to ride through red lights?" I complained a little later, after we'd picked up a few more and dropped them back off. Mostly it was young guys or women who got into drunken fights or hurt themselves doing something stupid, and it was getting a little boring,"Can I put the siren on?"
"No Carl," she said through the sliding window, and I could tell she was bored too - apart from that one Indian dude everyone else we'd picked up either had a bruise or a sprain or a black eye and that was that,"Only in emergencies."
The light turned green and I turning right, telling her that the emergency was that I was bor-
"Stop Carl!" she shouted out,"To your left!"
He was just standing there, an old black dude, standing alone in the driveway in a big fucking puddle of his own blood, just staring out into nothing, mouth slowly moving, mouthing something under his breath. We hadn't had a call-in about him, but this dude obviously needed help.
"Carl, I'm sorry but can you...." Katie said, and I could tell she was worried,"He looks like he's high on something bad and they can react weirdly... you'd handle him better."
"Don't worry girl," I told her,"I got this."
I got out of the ambulance and walked towards him, seeing his clothes were dirty, his face unshaved, his lips cracked and wasted, his eyes blank. He was whispering something, I could almost make out words but I don't think they were making any sense.
"Hey yo, old man," I said, approaching slowly, hands out,"You with me, brother?"
He just kept on mumbling, and now I could see blood was dripping down his pants leg and they were stained around the crotch, and I didn't know if it was from piss or blood or both.... that was his blood, and it looked like he'd cut something deep, real fucking deep.
"....figglballlaaaaIHAD TO GET. IT. OUT!" he screamed at me all of a sudden, and I flinched back, then frowned and stood up straight.
"HEY NIGGER!" I shouted, and that seemed to get through to him, his eyes cleared a little and he looked over at me,"WHAT THE FUCK IS THE PROBLEM!?!"
"Fuggoff," he mumbled,"Gottasortitgottasortititsintherejustgotta..."
"My name's Carl," I told him,"Carl Johnson, you gotta name, old man?"
"Names are power," he told me, fixing me with that weird look.
"Man, you know a guy called The Truth?" I asked, shaking my head, but suddenly his eyes got wider.
"THE TRUTH! THE TRUTH WILL SET US FREE!" he wheezed, bending over and coughing and hacking. I walked up beside him, careful not to step in his blood, and put my arms around his shoulders.
"Come on, old timer," I said,"Let's get you looked at and get you in a warm bed, huh?"
He stopped coughing and looked up at me as I lead him towards the back of the ambulance, suddenly he just looked old and tired and confused, asking,"Where's Kiesha?"
"I don't know, old man," I told him,"Maybe at the hospital, huh?"
"Yeah, yeah," he said, smacking his lips and grinning up at me in a way that was pathetic and horrible and so fucking undignified,"Let's go... I'm so tired."
Katie had the back door open, and I helped him up inside, kneeling down beside him as he lay back on the small seat and Katie began checking his eyes.
"You ain't going to give my girl no troubles, are you?" I asked.
"Joshua," he said, smiling that old confused smile at me,"My name is Joshua... Joshua don't hold no truck with ladies, nothing but trouble."
"Yeah... well you don't give us no trouble and she won't give you any," I said, a little grin on my face,"We'll get you to the hospital, you'll be fine."
Katie finished checking his eyes and taking his pulse, then turned and looked at me, a little frown on her face.
"Carl," she said,"Get driving.... and turn the siren on."
As we were driving, siren blaring but all the excitement I thought I'd feel sucked out by that little frown on Katie's face, we got the call for a pick-up on our route to the hospital. I didn't want to stop but I didn't have much choice in the matter, other people needed hospital treatment too.
"Ahh hell," I said as I saw the fat hooker in the too-tight, too-short red dress waiting on the side of the road. There was blood on the pavement around her but it didn't look like anything compared to the shit Joshua had pouring out of him,"Come on girl, get in!"
She shimmied over due to her dress pressing her legs together and hopped up into the passenger seat, and I saw the blood had come from a cut along her forearm, already scabbing over.... shit, we stopped for this?
"How you do that?" I asked as we set off again, the hooker putting on her seatbelt and almost primly pulling her dress over a little more over her thighs.
"One of my johns," she said in a deep voice, and I did a little double-take, shit.... lady was a dude!"Didn't like what they found when they reached between my legs, now I need a fucking tetanus shot."
"Jesus," I said.
"Oh don't be a cliche, honey!" it laughed,"You gotta run that siren? It's loud!"
"Got a badly hurt patient in the back," I snapped at her.. him.... it,"Need more than a fucking tetanus injection!"
"Well excuuuuse me," it said, rolling its eyes,"Sorry to make you do yo.... oh shit he's pretty fucked up, isn't he!"
She'd looked back through the slider window and now I did the same, seeing that most of Joshua's upper shirt was soaked with blood now, and he was raving again, rolling his head back and forth, eyes far away. Katie's nice clean uniform was all covered in blood too, and she was changing her gloves as she did what she could.
"Hold on, Joshua!" I shouted, flooring the accelerator as much I dared without wanting to risk bumping him too much,"We getting you to that hospital, homie!"
"Hold on, Joshua!" I shouted, feeling the same kind of rush I did when I was winning a race and the finish line was in sight,"We gonna get you there, nigga, we gonna get yo-"
"Carl," Katie interrupted me, even though her voice was quiet,"Turn off the siren, Carl."
I sat in the ambulance, thinking about Joshua, while Katie went inside to change out of her bloodsoaked uniform. The hooker was gone, Joshua had been wheeled away, and all I could think about was that I didn't even know his last name. Katie had said it was like ships passing in the night, but I couldn't just let it go that easy. Who was he? How he get so fucked up, body AND mind? Did he cut himself or did something else happen to him? Who was Kiesha? His wife? His friend? His daughter? And how fucking terrible and fucked up and STUPID it was that he died in the back of an ambulance away from anyone and everyone he knew and loved, just some poor crazy old man that no one knew and no one would miss.
I didn't want to die.
Katie hopped up into the passenger seat, clean and fresh, I didn't know how the hell she did that, wearing her regular clothes now.
"I told them I'd been thrown by the death pretty badly, a friend of mine said she'd cover for me," Katie said,"Take me home Carl, I want you to hold me in your powerful arms."
I sat on the couch inside her house as she got me a drink, thinking about how only the night before we'd been fucking like animals in every room and I hadn't been able to get enough of her.
"I was right there with him when he died," she said, sitting down next to me and snuggling up tight,"That doesn't happen as much as you might think to a nurse.... usually you find them dead in their beds in the morning or they die in surgery while you're changing bedpans or checking instruments or counting the pill supplies.... but he died right there in front of me, I saw it happen."
"Yeah... it's.... it's fucked up," I said.
"It was sooooo..." she said, and then turned to look at me, and for the first time I realized that flush in her face and that tremor in her voice wasn't sadness.... it was excitement,"It made me sooo.... sooooo HOT!"
"Bitch what the fuck!" I yelled, jumping up off of the couch. She looked surprised, then a sad little smile crossed her face.
"Carl, have you ever heard the saying, in the midst of life we are in death?" she asked me,"Do you know what it means?"
I just stood over her, staring.
"It means death comes to us all, none of us live forever, and we can die ANY MOMENT!" she moaned, up on all fours now, arms on the armrest looking up at me, her titties squeezing together, her tight little ass wriggling about,"So we have to live each moment as if it was our last, because it could be! Carl, when I see pain and death, it excites me because I'M still alive and healthy, and I want to revel in that life.... experience pleasure.... Carl... fuck me, I want you to fuck my brains out!"
I could lie and say I walked out of there, walked away from her and her crazy death fetish.
I could lie and say the sex we did have wasn't fantastic.
I could lie and say the next morning when I woke up and she was pressed up against me, that I wasn't as disgusted in myself as I was in her.
"Carl," she said, waking as I tried to quietly get dressed,"I screwed up last night, didn't I? Scared you?"
"Just go back to sleep," I told her, pulling on my shoes.
"I'm not going to see you again, am I," she said, and she wasn't asking a question. I could have lied to her, told her I just needed time, that I would call her in a few days, that we'd get over this.
I walked out the door.