It’s three in the morning, back at my desk, the bunk becons but the hope of rest is just that, hope. Soon the tones will go off, and Rescue 1 will follow, and the night will go on.
It’s late, I’m tired, the worst mankind has to offer has been paraded in front of me for thirty hours without a break. People void of emotion, beaten down by their own failings, their childhood dreams broken by a life of selfish pursuits drink themselves into a stupor hoping to escape the reality of what they have become.
Fights spontaneously break out at closing time, the streets littered with broken glass, which not long ago held the shape of bottles that held the fuel that fired the emotions that lead to the fighting, and pain. A kid loses an eye, another is scarred for life, a girl loses her dignity in the gutter, her make-up smeared, body exposed as she vomits the nights magic onto the street where it festers until the rats come out from hiding and feast.
I see the rats that appear when everybody else has left, watch them scurry in and out of sewers, grab a bite here, chew something there, then vanish as if they never were. I would never know this world exists if not for my position. I would be sleeping, happy in my blissful ignorance as the city three miles from my home went on without me.
Three in the mormning. Time for three more calls, if I’m lucky, one of them will remind me of why I’m here, and why I love this job. If I’m not so lucky it will be more of the same.
Either way, I’ll be here.