Saturday, April 07, 2007

Gut wrench

Ambulances always do this to me - this unbearable gut wrench albeit for a few minutes. Perhaps it's selective perception, but I always seem to see an ambulance, blaring its sirens, pass by when I'm on an evening out. And for the next ten minutes, this 'low' weighs down heavily on me, as thoughts of 'what terrible time that family must be going through at this moment' start going round and round in my head. There are no personal associations (as yet.. touch wood), no bad memories, yet this terrible sinking feeling.. quite inexplicable.
Last evening as I was driving back home from work, I heard some noises - siren like. I looked at my rear view mirror. Nothing. And I shrugged it off as I might some unpleasant auditory hallucination. Kept driving. But the sound wouldn't stop; and before I had the time to check the rear view mirror again, it got louder, convincing me that yet another ambulance was close. Very close this time. I could hear the frantic honking of the driver along with the feeble siren (of a feeble van of some feeble little nursing home) as he drove fast - as fast as the office hour road traffic would permit. The ambulance overtook me and left me shivering as this chill ran down my spine. It drove past me and drove on. The rash and swift rider that I am, I followed close at heels. Once the ambulance was ahead of me, I tried peering inside, to see who the unfortunates were. The next instance, I was loathing myself for wanting to be a mere spectator to someone's misfortune. The ambulance's honks jerked me out of my reverie. I saw the vehicle try desperately to get some space to overtake a car...and it was sometime before the car gave it some leeway. Those were the moments that were of greatest anguish to me... In utter helplessness, I cursed the car driver to give way. Of course, no one heard. If I could, I would manually lift the ambulance and get it to its destination...
Until, I took the other fork of the crossroads, I was numb. Numb with the gut wrench, my longest ever.

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