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Dr. Sid Hammerback, ME
22 July 2009 @ 11:44 pm
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 1041

Show and tell.

“This is my daddy. He cooks.”

Christopher was proud of his father, and it showed as he puffed out his chest and stood to full height in front of the man in the tall white hat, toolbox in one hand, other hand resting lightly on the boy’s shoulder. A Chef seemed like a much better option for a school parental career’s day than someone who cut up dead bodies. Smiling, Sid thought briefly, and then dove head first into speaking about his profession during his five minute allotment, while the fireman, the doctor and the optometrist waited patiently at the sidelines.

There was a time, actually, there were many times after the Twin Towers fell, that I was tempted to stop moving, to stop feeling, to stop processing. All this continued life around me, and sometimes, all I wanted was for it to vanish, was for me to become unfeeling, un-noticing, unmoved by all the loss. I just wanted to be some sort of numb extant pillar, punished by being the one to remain, but unyielding to the influence of life otherwise. I am continuously thankful for the chances I have been given since that time, the opportunity of support from my friends and family, the ability to keep working when it looked like I might fall apart. I am grateful to Mac, because now he allows me a certain about of pretence, a pretending that allows me to go about without being known as the one, just like him, who lost it all.

Marianne was playing the role of petulant lover and he the role of decisive master, her long heels stamping the dance floor as he held her a little too tight, a little too possessively for absolute comfort. He dipped her and she mocked forgiveness, pushing suddenly closer to him, back to his chest, slithering down his body, hips gyrating all the while. As the sparks between them became almost tangible in the air, she snapped once more, putting a little space between them as he twirled her, both sets of feet moving all the while. He showed her off and between them they told a little story of their own making, gave a little performance, a tiny insight into an imaginary but entirely believable other kind of life. It helped that his hair was streaked with grey and hers wasn’t.

Some people are unable to be divided, as their love creates an indivisible bond between them, one that is satiated in togetherness and strained in separation. It is why such conditions exist as broken heart syndrome, or those slightly mysterious but all too real cases of an elderly widow or widower dying soon after their spouse has. With Marianne and I, if we were both old and doddery it would have been like that. My heart, in the end stages of life, I am sure would not have been designed to live without her for very long. However, I have at least thirty good years ahead of me, and at the most many more than that, and this number was only larger when she died, when my sons died. My heart needed to continue, because as much as Marianne meant to me, she was a apart of my life, and my life, with her departure, with the departure of Christopher and Michael, it still, at that point, needed to continue. The need to continue has been one that has stayed with me ever since. Whereas they once gave me something extra and something lovely to live for, I now live for myself, and for their memory, and for life itself, of course.

“This is my girlfriend Marianne.” Sid said, propping the red haired girl against the teacher’s desk, nudging her into place with an errant hand on her upper arm. They had only really been dating for about a month, but it wasn’t like they had broken the news to everyone. The teacher, having had sat through seashells and five assorted pieces of interesting leaves and insects quietly rolled his eyes and gave the boy permission to continue via a wave of his hand.

“She has lovely hair, like a sunset, and she smells like flowers. Lavender today because her mom bought her some new soap. I taught her to make cookies and she showed me how plait her hair. Her favourite ice cream is vanilla with sprinkles, and she laughs like those, those.”

Forgetting his speech wasn’t part of the plan.

“Sleighbells on the horses at Christmas time near Central Park.” the girl interjected, smiling widely, happily, her cheeks just a little bit red as she urged the boy to go back to his desk, sharp fingernails suddenly pressed square into his palm.

Once I had a wife named Marianne and two children named Christopher and Michael. For many, many years, decades even, my wife and I showed each other off to the world, and through our own individual learning, we told each other many things. When my boys came along into our lives, we showed them off and told of them to family and friends and to the inquiring prising hands and eyes of old grandmothers walking the streets of New York City. I once had much to show and tell of, and while I was a proud man, I was never greedy, I was never too egotistical, too narcissistic, too anything bad. Then suddenly, all that I had to show and tell to the world was gone, simply extinguished in a combination of flames, death, planes and falling buildings. Since then, I have my job to show up for, and my friends and family to tell stories too. With the memories of my wife and children close by my heart and my head, this form of show and tell is enough to make me happy. I still miss my wife and children, and I always will, but it has not stopped me living, because I have too much that I can show and tell to the world, too many things I still want to do and speak of. Their love, the memories of them, and now the love of my family and friends, it does sustain me in happiness, it does, it always will.
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: I Don't Believe You - Pink
Dr. Sid Hammerback, ME
14 July 2009 @ 08:30 pm
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 1035

Take someone out.

Nostalgia. That wistful yearning to return to a place, a memory, an experience that one has previously occupied in the past. Like the fad of tie dyed shirts or the time everybody played with pogo sticks. Our world is made up of nostalgia, past epochs, eras kept in basements and museums, in back order catalogues and old things being remade with new packaging. Death often brings about this emotional longing for a time in the past. I see people in my job, I have experienced it myself, the sudden incessant yearning to go back and dig through one’s memory boxes, through forgotten cupboard spaces and photograph albums. Nostalgia is yearning, it is the longing for something that elicited in us some happiness. It is a desire to return to former times, when things were perhaps safer, or simply, more pleasant. Time moves on though, and the recreation of the old can only do so much.

He supposed perhaps it might be dirty of him, covetous of him to think, to truly believe, that he always needed her. What might happen if she came to a day when she didn’t want him? What would happen if she left him before, before, that final act? Would he accept it without complaint, happy to have had her for as long as she was willing to treasure him as hers? Oh pious pity, the days of all marriages being long term and absolute were not with him, he now existed in a time where things were translucent and conducting of such vivacious social change. What if, what if, what if?

Sid looked up at her as she emerged out of the bathroom, holding up her hair, long arms extended, elbows just little bumps of flesh and bone along china doll skin.

“Up or down Sid?”

It wasn’t until she repeated the question and playfully kicked him in the shin that he realised she was paying attention to him, finally raising his head to answer, eyes contemplative.

“Up. I like the way you pin it.” he said, he smiled, he forgot his worries.

Transformation. It occurs in the human race much like an incredibly slow metamorphosis. A haircut one single day, does not equal a completely new self view the next other day, but it may, for some, be part of the changing process. It is an act of changing, and for some it is harder than it may be for others. For some people, to change is hard, and it comes slowly, painfully, and for some it is easy, another lifeblood, another air. It is all up to the person to seize their own particular moment in life, and do something with it, about it. The change may be slow, because no transformation is an instantaneously working miracle, but it does not mean it has to drag on for months or weeks, or years. To get over a death may take months, but to become happier in one’s self may simply be a matter of a week and a good book. It all depends on the person.

He was the perfect cavalier gentlemen, escorting her from the limo shared with friends, opening all the doors for her along the way, vehicle and building orientated alike. When they came to dance he paused and bowed at her, and she curtsied with whimsy in return. They danced a perfect dance, turning and touching at the right moment, eyes meeting and departing and eventually stealing hidden glances whenever they could. They mingled and were social, miming adult responsibilities and sensibilities in a teenage school dance setting, mimicking actions and stances, but sharing the age appropriate conversations about other people, other places.

Isolation. One of the hardest concepts to overcome is the sudden deathly act of being left all alone in the world. It is a tricky thought as well, to supposedly be all alone, because no one is ever truly alone. There is a thought I have sometimes as I process bodies in the morgue, especially those of murderers, or the victims of drug abuse, of homelessness. Once, even for a moment, a person has been loved. Whether it was a mother, a father, another family member, a teacher or simply a stranger they have passed in the street and never known, they have been loved. It is impossible to go through life, from birth to death without ever having been loved, even if only for a second. So, between love and death, what went wrong to lead this particular person, any particular person, to my table. Perhaps I was fortunate in that the remains of my wife and sons were never found. No one ever had to think those thoughts about them as they lay on someone else’s table. No, that isn’t true. Marianne, Christopher and Michael are dead, they have been gone for so long, and while I have my family, my friends, her family, even her friends, the hole is still there, I still miss them, I still ache for their company sometimes. I can not take them out of my life. That would leave me totally alone of them, deprived of them, and I can’t do that.

One day, one single glorious, perfect, absolutely idyllic day, he whisked her out of work, he organised it with her boss and stole her away to a hidden rooftop garden. He made a picnic, twenty different foods in little portions sealed inside individual containers. He bound her hands and hid her eyes with silk scarves and fed her tiny morsels until the sun set. He took her out and it was glorious, and when they arrived home to their children they were happy to see them. They made popcorn and ordered pizza and watched a rented out movie, and it was satisfaction, it was happiest. Then seven months later they were dead, and, there was nothing. He couldn’t take her out anymore. Couldn’t take his children out anymore. Couldn’t show any of them the beauty, the whimsy of life. And he felt nostalgic, he felt isolated, and eventually, he transformed into something different and continued on, taking himself out of the experience of mourning, of death, and continuing on with life.
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
Current Music: The Times They Are A-Changin' - Bob Dylan
Dr. Sid Hammerback, ME
08 July 2009 @ 03:15 pm
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 782

You pass a complete stranger on the street and notice they are crying. What do you do?

Sid found the woman outside a baby supply store, eyes brimming with tears, throat whimpering with obvious pain, or regret, or both. The store was the king that sold clothing and nappies in bulk, as well as the latest trendy prams and cots, the kind of thing he had long since thrown out, and not just because his children had grown up, although he still had kept a few items. He glanced at his watch, but his feet had already decided as he steered himself off a busy footpath at lunchtime, and sidled up to the woman’s side. He gathered her in gentle arms and held her as she looked, taller than her body by a good bit, able to encompass the complete stranger in his dangly, hand ended appendages without so much as a complaint. Need fitted into comfort, as his mother had sometimes said when he was down as a child, and she had hugged him to cheer him up.

Having said not a sparse or a bountiful word to each other, when she gave indication he lead the woman down the street, sat her at a small cafe and ordered two cups of jet black coffee. Sitting down with the mugs and a cookie he broke it and offered her half silently, and so they sat there, like two cheeky children sharing a forbidden fruity snack, the sharing of emotions continuing in their conversation already replete with silence.

“Christopher was eight, Michael was four. It gets easier.” the Medical Examiner said once they had eaten and drunk little, and it was then her turn to eye him quizzically, with the expression of disbelief and needing for similarity that he had come to associate with so many victims of lost love.

“My husband died, we were going to call her Mary.” the woman blurted, and the man continued to watch her, knowing how her thoughts must be racing, knowing how her mind must have reverted back to the most basic of human instincts, to speak of what was most troubling without letting it make wholesome sense. He waited for her to go on, continually patient and eternal with his kindness.

“Died of, died of cancer. Mary, Mary she had something wrong with her, they said, they said I was lucky to keep her as long as I did!”

The woman’s voice rose a little in a vindictive warble, and Sid grasped her hand tightly under the table. That stilted conversation ended, they finished their drink, finished their secretive cookie and he lead her back, through trains and buses, back to his home, to a nice couch seat and an offer of dinner between needing, lonely strangers, for what any of such action was worth. The pair talked over dinner, the woman silent now, content to mostly let him finish his story, which was, in his domain, a little bit longer than what she had offered since they had left the cafe.

“My wife was Marianne, not French, just red haired and unusual. We had our children, look, here they are.”

He pulled out his wallet and showed her old family photographs, young boys with older parents, and all smiles. His hands flickered the knife along the row of beans, topping and tailing, evening them up and then into thirds.

“Had them later in life. She worked in the World Trade Centre, higher up, nearer to where the planes hit than some.”

Carrots fell into perfect circles and onions into miniature flat rectangles. In a bit, during a bout of silence, garlic spiced the air and oil sizzled in a frying pan.

“It was a little office thing, a little thing to show the kids what work was like.” Sid said, and smiled, suddenly fond and unusually warm.

“We were older than most parents, and no respecting older child really wants to come and do office work. But Chris and Mike were young enough to still see it as an adventure. I’m pretty sure, they may have been the only, ones, the only, children, there. I’m not really sure.”

There was a lot more silence after that, but he had made it clear, in the few snippets of conversation they shared before dinner was served, that his empty house, was truly empty, and the woman, gave much the same story of her own home.

When they mourned together between the bed sheets, he made her cheerful not because he preyed on the down and out, the sad and missing of love. He cheered her up through nipping ministrations, because they both needed cheer, and because they could both provide each other with cheer, all other circumstances, histories, futures and conversations, excused.
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: Starting Now - Ingrid Michaelson
Dr. Sid Hammerback, ME
30 June 2009 @ 06:17 pm
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 1803

Cheer someone up.

There is something violently intrinsic about the bond between child and parent, whether mother or father. It can be either really, because relations within our society are so multifaceted that one child is no longer destined to be raised by mommy with brief interspersed visits from father in the evening time. Although my parents weren’t like that, it seems that with my generation and those close to it, the father was a distant figurehead designed to impose order and restrictions upon the household. Yes, well now in the modern day, I may very well be a man, but when I was married, it wasn’t anything like that. Marianne and I, we both had our hectic schedules, our appointments and designated duties to perform in order to earn our pay, but there was always that seemingly idyllic time for family. These glorious unexpected times in the day, for business papers spread over the dining table, and wooden blocks splayed readily across the floor while dinner was made around all the mess and commotion. There was always time for family in our household, as much or as little time as we had to give on any particular day; there was always something, some of it to be given, to be shared.

The notion of children though. How could I have explained to Marianne when we got married that one day we would produce between us two individual beings, two creations as it were, made out of the splitting and mingling of genetics to become, something else, something ours, but still of its own. It was a funny thing, we knew we wanted children, but we only held distant figments of girls in dresses or boys pulling up flowers. We had rough sketched names and other designations, but we had university to go through, we had our own growing up to do, and children were a long way off. Then all of a sudden, the years had rolled past us, and there Christopher and Michael were, indeterminable bundles of joy, vomit, crayon drawings and diapers.

There was one working day, perhaps a year or so before they died, probably about a year and a half, when I took the train to work as opposed to the car, bike, or even the bus. I got off at an earlier stop on the way home to visit some friends and to look around a late night grocer to find some milk, bread, and ah, some bok choy, that Marianne had asked me to pick up. We were having stir fry for dinner, because Chris had begun a recent but vivid fascination with chopsticks. Michael wasn’t quite old enough to manipulate them with Christopher’s dexterity, but we were harbouring the interest for what it was, childhood fascination of the obtuse and the extraordinary.

That night I visited with two friends, one artist and one art supply store worker who lived together in this kind of blaze of tie dyed pillows and abstract paintings. Either way they went about promoting artistic expression, they were good people, so we shared a drink and a few words. The art supply store man gave me a defective box of crayons for Michael, two dark blue colours instead of one light, one dark, I remember this precisely. With two boys, I had learned to err on the side of slight caution with those slight tinges of jealousy, but it was, as with so many things, not something I gave a thought to that day. Thus I ended up at home with the milk, bread, crayons and bok choy. Marianne and Chris had started on dinner and Michael was scribbling on paper in a high chair.

Michael took the box of crayons with about as much grace as someone near to two and a half or thereabouts can do, and bidden out of the kitchen by my wife I sat down with him at the table. Suddenly there was Chris pushing himself under my arm, looking at this box of crayons. He was himself inclined to drawings, yes, but perhaps more so to other things more constructive, like Lego. But gifts are gifts, either way, and through a child’s eyes, one sided gifts are, how to say it, hard to perceive, different from an adult at the very least. There weren’t tears, no, no, Chris was a lovely, lovely, understanding boy, but I did see those flickers of confusion in his eyes, I remember that. I remember a lot of little things about my boys, those tiny looks and those awkward glances when they had done something wrong. I remember so much of them, and I only had them for such a short time. Parents are not usually meant to outlive their own children.

Something truly weird happened that night. I took the place of Christopher in the kitchen, helping Marianne with the vegetables for the stir fry. The boys stayed at the dinner table, I assume Chris was watching Michael, who was catching quickly onto the concept of drawing a rudimentary circle with whatever art supplies he could get a hold of. When I returned to the room to check on them, cutlery and chopsticks in hand so I could set the table, there were all the crayons set out on the table, broken clearly in half and divided amongst siblings. The two alike crayons for which had made the box come into my hands in the first place, the two dark blue ones, were again divided, but were not broken. There were two of the same, of course, they were two equal instruments, so there was no point in harming them. I’m not saying that the broken crayons were perfectly and clearly divided in half, but it was pretty close. I didn’t really ask as I set the table, because they had shared the paper also and begun drawing, as they were often tempted to do when supplied with such things. Looking at Michael for a moment, he must have given me his best attempt at a shrug, and for all the world, as young as he was, I knew it had been him who had made the effort to flatten out the playing ground between them. Of the two, I am sure Mike would have been the more inclined to art and Chris more inclined towards things of the hand, of putting delicate part with delicate part, but that is not the point.

Having children is a unique experience, and, well, I have heard the saying that no one can know exactly what it is like until they have indeed experienced it. I suppose, to some strengths, this is true, because Marianne and I could not have imagined the very specific uniqueness of our children, only the concept and the imagined emotions that were associated with the act of being a parent. Once it happens though, ah, there is a whole new set of things to associate, to learn and remember. What child likes this, which one belongs to that, who prefers which blanket or which toy; just like any other human, really, except they are dependent on you entirely for their own wellbeing. Just that day, though, just that day I learned, or had reinforced, the lesson about sharing. I suppose any parent brings gifts for their children, it is what I, what I did, what I would have done in the future, because causing happiness or thankfulness is in itself a fulfilling experience. I suppose, there would have been other times, with two children, where one got something and the other didn’t, but while they were that young, and a prime example in that experience especially, maybe the understanding wasn’t quite there between them, that one could receive and the other could be content to get something at another time. Thus they shared.

I had two boys once, two wonderful, lovely boys, and before they died, I loved each of them as an individual, and together we loved each other as what I regarded to be a nice family unit, albeit one with its own specific differences and eccentricities. I still love my boys, but this love is not based on the continuing existence of a physical body with a mind subjective to its own thoughts and experiences, willing to be objective under the gaze of everyone else. No, I suppose, when it comes to the need to cheer myself up, all I have left is what they left behind, all their objects, their toys, their things, the drawings they created and the seemingly tiny clothes they were meant to continued wearing. All I have left to bring me cheer as a result of their existence is those objects and my memories of them, of my two sons, of Michael and Christopher and very much in the same object cum memory boat, my wife, Marianne.

In having a family, I once had a lot of cheer. Now, I still have a lot of cheer in my life, but it is no longer of that atypical warm and fuzzy family kind, well, not the kind associated with spouses and offspring. No, the cheer I get nowadays is from the family I have left, my mother, my father, Marianne’s parents, it is from my friends, from the people I meet in and out of the job, and form the city they I live in. My cheer comes, as it has done all throughout my life, from the life in and around me, except that now, I am not looking in the familiar places that my wife and children provided for me. It is no longer from alcohol, even if that addiction was brief and fleeting, it is just from the fact that I have a continued life, and that life around me does continue on.

I needed Marianne as I needed air, and she felt the same way about me. In that respect we were inseparable, even when we were away from each other. Now that she is gone, what do I do to be cheerful without her, without them? I breathe the same air, and I live with myself, with the memories of them, of the collective memories of us together in a past very different from the present as it is today. Oh, in their death, cheerfulness may have faded away for a while, but now, here in my own future, all I can do is simply, keep breathing, and continue. I could never have stopped after their death, because if I had, if I had not cheered myself up by remembering them, I wouldn’t be here today. That is the truth, clear and simple and unadulterated. My wife, my two sons, they brought me cheer, and now, without them, I move on with the memories of them perfectly intact.
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: All Summer Long - Kid Rock
Dr. Sid Hammerback, ME
20 June 2009 @ 10:03 pm
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 784

Is redemption truly possible?

Someone cut me off while I was changing lanes in traffic the other day on the way to a crime scene, and for a brief illustrious moment I did think fancifully evil things about them. It only lasted for a second, though, only a second or two of barely simmering rage. Then, like so many other situations in life, the anger subsided into reasonable disbelief that someone sandwiched in peak hour traffic could be that rude. It is hard to believe, yes it is, that when there were obviously, hundreds of other commuters trying to get to this destination, in such and such a direction, and so forth, that one man or woman could put themselves before numerous others. It happens, I suppose, oh yes, how I know that rage can override a person and make them see nothing else. I am very experienced in dealing with the results of rage as the result of my job. Rage and violence, and much much else that is wrong with the present day world, I get all of it on my morgue table in the bodies of dead children, of adults, of people who could have or did have, promising lives ahead of them.

Forgiveness, though, I am talking about forgiveness, as well as atonement, glorious somewhat quasi archaic words they might be to some people. To forgive is to pardon the transgressions of someone else that may have angered or upset you in some way. To atone, then, is that act of apology, of reconciliation, that serves to try and deserve the forgiveness of another person, in the first place. Therefore, if I am redeemed, then I have atoned and been forgiven, and if I am in need of redemption, I have not been forgiven, and may have not yet atoned for any of the sins or anger bringing actions I have committed. It is a curious concept, I am aware, entailing of the immense bravura with which humanity carries itself with. If we commit a wrong, we expect that if we follow a coded set of rules, movements and spoken words, that we will get forgiven, nay, that if we do this little dance then we may even deserve to be forgiven, whether it was an unforgiveable act, or not.

This kind of thinking is where I run into some issues with the idea of redemption. I am a man who has religion yes, not as strong as some others, but I am still known to attend church and frequent graveyards, to visit graves of my dead loved ones, of course. I pray, I take communion, I make cakes for cake stalls, I am a small part of a religious community with inhabitants who are inevitably, far more passionate and devoted to Christianity than I am. Looking at Christianity, we get the idea of sin and of forgiveness, even atonement. We sin, we atone via prayer, bread, wine, and we are forgiven by a person in power, of all our past sins and awful transgressions. Then the next week, we go back and do it all over again. It is not that I mind, so much the idea that the church can absolve everyone of everything bad they have ever done, without that person truly having learnt the meaning of what it is to say sorry, to atone and mean it in absolute.

I think that redemption is truly possible, but not without a stringent set of associated happenings that must happen to make it positively true, without deception. It is far too easy in modern society to wave a magic wand that gives over that magic feeling of forgiveness without any atonement or poignant inner thought having happened, at all. As with training dogs, most people learn through repetition, not through a pat on the head and a proverbial cookie in the form of a prayer or a set of words aimed to induce a state of feeling that one has been forgiven. To truly receive redemption a person must first atone for their wrongdoing, they must apology and try to make things right. If and only then, have they learned the error of their ways, have seen that their past actions are wrong and have committed to try and never repeat the same movement of misfortune again, may any person or people, ever, be truly receiving of redemption. To be honest, as much as I may have religion, a pat on the head, the bread and the wine, the prayers, it all seems very weak to me when the person learns nothing at all and continues to repeat the same action, or voice the same words, throughout the rest of their life.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Say Hello - Nitin Sawhney
Dr. Sid Hammerback, ME
15 June 2009 @ 05:12 pm
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 882


Weeks before she died, she caught him chained to a tree with a bunch of protestors, mingled amongst which were university students studying ethics, philosophy or environment management. There were professors as well, of those subjects and other similar topics, and various other lecturers and teachers from educational institutions, all attendees somehow relevant to their united particular cause. There were so many people that it hadn’t just been one tree, it was many trees, many chains and locks and badly printed t-shirts. She had caught him pressed between a young female graduate student studying feminist literature, and a professor in something he couldn’t quite remember. The gentle waving of bodies and picket signs hid him until the Detective came upon his face in passing, and smiled a sudden warm, open, grin.

All these people protesting the destruction of the environment, and her, as part of the people drawn out to work, who were meant to keep the peace. Then there was him and her, and they were, for a glance, for a moment, separate people, not co-workers or friends or acquaintances. They weren’t people who knew each other; they were just people leading separate lives, each fulfilling a particular social role within the order of the community. Just him, one protestor, and just her, one Detective smiling at him, before he snapped on his glasses and brushed his hair off his forehead.

“Hello there Detective. Very nice day out is it not?” the Medical Examiner said, waving the hand free of a sign in greeting as the woman looked at him, even more amused yet. She had recognised him the moment their eyes had met, but they didn’t see each other very regularly as co-workers, and even less as people outside of work, although slightly more now she was supposedly involved with Flack. Seeing each other in such an out of proportion situation, the levels of normalcy had skewed their perceptions of each other for brief and quiet moments.

The two people continued to eye each other carefully before she greeted him back, waving and smiling back with equal warmth.

“Sid. You’re out here? I thought it was only...”

The younger girl, younger than him at least, took a look around and raised a conspiratorial eyebrow, head lowering forwards slightly

“Hippies and university students?” the woman whispered near his ear, and he thought how lucky Flack must be, to love her, and so he had heard, been loved back. The woman was beautiful, reminiscent of Marianne in elegance, at the very least, although so many beautiful women reminded him of Marianne.

“No, no.” the man replied.

“They roped in us working intellectuals as well” he went on with a wink.

The Medical Examiner laughed at this, and they fell into conversation as two co-workers did, people who worked in separate area, all for the same cause, really, of solving crimes and protecting society. In different strengths of course, but still, same sort of thing, the same end purpose. She was like Flack, and all the people in the lab and the morgue knew Flack well. Flack was part of the family, and by association, so was Angell.

There was, as with so many peaceful yet shout filled protest to save the trees, one single idiot, neither university student, professor, lecturer or teacher, but someone else. One single idiots who, for some reason that made sense in his head, lit small little smoke bomb fireworks that popped off like the explosion of a gun, and which injured several people.

As the chains fell as a result of magically produced cutting instruments and police officers surged forward, intermingled with other people who were present to protect and serve, of who which Angell was one, the woman caught him by the arm. Like some others, she was there on her day off, and her presence even near him was merely happening circumstance. She cuffed him and dragged him away into a group of trees, pushing him behind a nearby toilet block where she hushed him with quiet words in French and then released his hands from their bonds

Sid was thankful for that day, because several of his academic friends had criminal charges pressed. Even though they were dismissed, several graduate students were punished and several people were charged for disrupting the peace. Yet Angell saved him from a supposed prison, perhaps, some supposed punishment which he knew could have, may have, affected his career in some way.

As he autopsied her, she opened her up and peeked into her insides, Sid was thankful for that, thankful for what she had done for him. As he saw Flack’s face, though, as he saw Flack’s face, he could only remember now, the grief of losing, the grief he felt and that Flack must feel over having the very one that belonged at their individual sides, ripped away like a piece of refuse caught in a sudden wind. And it hurt, it hurt beyond the good memory of escaping prison, because the prison of Jessica Angell’s death, for her, was eternal and permanent and absolutely, absolutely, final. Just like Marianne, just like Christopher and just like Michael, Jessica Angell was lost because the ills in the world had saw fit to cause them all an untimely demise.
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: Gabriel [Radio Edit] - Lamb
Dr. Sid Hammerback, ME
12 June 2009 @ 04:47 pm
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 540

Under what circumstances, if any, is it ok to break the law?

“Have you ever broken the law, Sid?”

Mac’s tone was conversational, his left hand grasped around a steaming cup of coffee, the other with fingers pressed against a particular article in a newspaper, where his name had gotten a mention. When the CSI spoke, the Medical Examiner looked up from a fine examination of his own lunch and quirked one eyebrow down, the other flying upwards towards an imaginary heaven. Briefly proud of this feat of facial muscle mastery, he momentarily lost concentration and spent several seconds assuming some degree of a dazzled expression.

“Sid?” Mac pressed on further, catching the arrangement of the other man’s face and letting a small amused smile tug at the edges of his lips.

“Why do you ask?” the ME replied, smiling himself, amused, placing more bait on the hook as it were. As if Mac didn’t know about some of the things he had done, seen, experienced.

“Just curious.”


“Yes.” Mac said, drinking from his coffee cup, replacing it on the table, staring intently at his lunchtime.

Ah, so it was a game.

The eyebrows lowered themselves, the look of a storyteller replaced one of befuddled amusement.

“I suppose, without mentioning acts of sexual deviancy and exploration.” Sid said, pausing and rolling his shoulders in a shrug.

“I stole a packet of gum when I was eight. I do remember partaking in creating the absence of a window one time.” he continued, smiling at the CSI’s blank stare.

“We were rescuing puppies.” the greying man said, shrugging once more, pushing his glasses up his nose with one free finger.

Mac blew air through his teeth, an unusual motion for someone normally so reserved. He finished his coffee with a final swig, grimacing slightly as all the finely granulated sediment of leftover beans ran down his throat.

“I broke a couple of windows, I suppose. Hawkes told me of some of your stories Sid, I’ve already heard many of them.”

There it was, conversation finished.

The men turned the topic at hand onto work after that, work, and papers, and cases, politics, future things to do, to deal with. Not the breaking of laws, the enforcing of them, the following of them, the interpretation of them. What Sid was going to do with the bloated water laden victim whose smell was beginning to permeate up from the morgue, or so several lab workers said.

If only he knew, though, if only he knew all the indecent things he had done. What would Mac think of him then? Having flouted so many laws, not harming anyone, never, but always in the name of love.

Acrobatic artistry near articulated skeletons,
Coitus conducted underneath cakes stalls,
Gyrations given near tubs full of gelatin,
Maverick mastery of womanly downfall

Sexy seduction carried through on the stairway,
Threesomes thriving with thrill and thunder,
Mile high ministrations all on the airway,
Foursomes then fivesomes then orgies and all

Exploits endured on a library trolley,
Breaking barriers to bang on the walls,
Holiday mischief under high priced pink holly,
Doors deftly unlocked to let deviants past

Insensitive idling of leather and whips,
Hiding hurriedly while naked and bare,
Lovers loving through locked living lips,
Remember, remember, the absence still there?
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
Current Music: Closer - Ne-Yo
Dr. Sid Hammerback, ME
29 May 2009 @ 08:44 pm
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 1091

What have you done to make ends meet when you were broke?

In my life, I never have really been left wanting, I have never been without a house, and I have always had shoes on my feet, if the having of such things is any indicator of lifestyle. I have had debt, of course I have had debt, I own a house and I have a car, I once had two children to clothe and send to school. In the past I have had medical school to pay off, and before that many things to buy for my work as a Chef, which I still try to maintain to the present day. I am getting on in years now, in terms of being past the point where I work instead of attend school, live by myself, instead of with parents, but I do not think of myself as old. Despite this, despite the fact that I still have many years ahead of me, Marianne and I were fortunate in that we both earned good amounts of money through our respective jobs over the years, and between us, oh so fortunately we had cleared off our debts many years before she died.

Being that I have no intention of selling my home in the very near future, being that I will not need a new car for a while yet, being that I now live by myself, my living expenses are minimal as far as basic necessities go, and my chance of incurring more debt is low. In terms of my job, there is petrol to buy, and for the sake of continued learning I do keep up subscriptions to several reputable medical and criminal journals and databases. While I may enjoy cooking, I am responsible, most of the time with the amount of money I spend on food, and being a tall rather compact human being, I find clothing easy to find and I use water and electricity responsibly.

Now, in terms of lifestyle, I suppose, aside from bills, and necessities such as food and liquid, most of my money is spent on the things I do or the things I have. This is normal, however, because if we only spent money on food, water, electricity and having a roof over our heads, I would imagine we may all become naked and reduced to walking around the city on bare feet. That is a bit wild of me, I do elaborate in that hypothesis, but I am trying to show that in buying myself nice clothes, and occasionally stooping so low as to buy tabloid magazines, I am continuing the act of being a relatively normal human being.

While I am not rich, now I lead a comfortable life, and I have enough money around that I can indulge in going out to clubs or to dinner if I desire. I have enough money that I can buy myself books and lovely knives. I have a television that is not space station worthy, but it does a decent job, and I have a home computer, a laptop as well, that I replace when they become very slow and clunky, which takes quite a few years, experience given. Swinging, fortunately, is a free act, but the kind o sexual lifestyle I lead, does not come without expense. Leather whips cost money, as does edible underwear and fanciful silk straps, as does the wining and dining of ladies and men. I am a humble man, but people have described me as eccentric, eclectic, whimsical even. I am known to buy funny things, but it is not something I am known for at large, it is just merely a tiny facet of my being, my totality.

New York City, by itself necessitates a certain level of fluidity in life. The ability to change with the days, to change with what is needed or expected of a person is a talent I excel in, while all the time remaining myself, of course. I keep myself well up to date with the procession movements of technology and culture, so I see movies, I even own a portable music device, which as a young man who served me coffee once remarked, is awfully progressive of an old “dude” such as myself. That is not the point, however, I am simply trying to show that I have, in the past, and in the present, Managed my money well, and worked hard to make sure that I am able to live a life that I desire to live, without overly indulging or wasting money in excess on things like gambling, drinking and smoking. I am a responsible adult, and while eccentric, even I know I am eccentric, I get by well.

I have a vegan friend. Well, to be honest I have several vegetarian friends of various levels who I cook for every now and then, although I am perfectly sure one of them once stole all my eggs. Anyway, I have a vegan friend, a lovely girl, a bit younger than myself, who works in the film industry. While I have never been permanently living with small amounts of money to sustain myself on, well, as with any other life, there has been a period, before I become a Medical Examiner, and prior to my career as a Chef really taking off, where I had very little money, enough to live with, but not much else. In a time a couple of years after I married Marianne and while my vegan friend was breaking into the film industry, more hammering at the door, I helped her make a student film. While it was a fun experience, I did do it for the money, because I was nearing a certain level of being broke. Suffice to say, somewhere there is an old student film where I am grotesquely murdered in a dark and scary scene by a zombie, no, several zombies, yes. Oh, there is nothing colder and more uncomfortable than being covered in fake blood in the middle of the night and having to film my last fictional moments alive trapped in a dumpster. I also spent a week or so as a male stripper once, but that was more for pleasure than anything, really. Anyway, in my life, I have always made ends meet, whether barely or sufficiently, money is a thing I no longer spend hours obsessing over, not that I ever really did, that much. There is far much more to life than just money, that I am completely, totally and absolutely aware and sure of.
Current Mood: contentcontent
Current Music: Sixteen Going on Seventeen - The Sound of Music
Dr. Sid Hammerback, ME
26 May 2009 @ 10:28 pm
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 1079

You’re fired! Talk about a time you were forced out of something.

Forced out of love. Forced out of marriage. Forced out of that winsome purity that accompanies young romance. Forced out of habit through fire and through sybarite flames, his riddle was spent, he yearned for recompense of a kind he could not have.

There is a common theme in literature of a phoenix character, the very sole person, usually the hero or heroine, who can overcome adversity and come out, on the other side of the story, a winner. I have never studied literature to the extent of some professors and critics, but I have done my fair share of plays and movie watching, I see how things go. The phoenix character, they suffer, they go through the climax, the anticlimax, but it is near inevitable that at the end of the story, they are reborn into contentment.

There were a lot of first times after that firing of notions and erasing of daily habits and normal habitats. There was the first dinner he cooked without the help of his sons. The first lunch he ate without his wife. The first time he had sex without her consent. The first time he wrapped fingers around a certain appendage without knowing she would take the edge off when he got home. The first time he went to a film festival without her. The first anniversary of their death, where he stood there, stood in life, a year alone, a year already gone without her, without his sons, by his side.

In murder, some people find the contentment that they have killed the person who was the cause of all their inimical life woes. I have been the last port of call for the victims of vicious serial killers, and I have seen the worst and the best of murder, if such a thing can be said. I find contentment in doing a good job for the people who can no longer speak for themselves, I find, I have never been able to find any contentment in the fact that they are dead. This is what puts the murderers and the people who process the remnants of a murder apart. One takes joy in killing, and the other takes joy in seeing that the victim receives just and fair treatment in death, as they would have in life. I have for a very long time tried to understand the notion of terrorism, even back in my youth where it was of a different kind to the large scale actions of modern day. I can get the concept of terrorism, of the need to kill, but nothing, not even the death of my wife and children made me, go out, and murder, other people.

The heat of the pizza oven was explosive in the enclosed space of the kitchen, and Sid thought he could feel the small hairs on his arms vaporizing as he shoved the paddle inside the heated interior. He resolved almost immediately to buy several bags of ice on his way home and bathe in them. The heat rendered him a glutton for punishment though, and as the orders came in he remained shovelling the prepared pizzas in and out of the heated dome, placing one in immediately after one came out. All around him were the smells of the kitchen, the noises of the restaurant, the eclectic collection of sensory assaults on a rapturous Friday night. As the man moved in an exquisite dance of taut muscles and sweating forehead, hungry New Yorkers hawked their orders in the background, at the front desk, and the aroma of herbs haunted the air, as did the sound of flickering, chopping, knives.

I once met a man with no feet who whizzed around in a wheelchair delivering parcels to office buildings. I owed a friend a favour, so on a particularly busy day for this man, I accompanied him on a bicycle carrying a recent shipment of particularly heavy office supplies. This man had no feet, but he moved on his chair with the most amazing speed, and he knew, oh, he knew every single floor of every single office building he went to. He greeted the receptionist, talked sports with the office jock, and commented on the wedding pictures of the recently married, or the holiday snaps of the recently divorced. I am quite a lanky man with a long stride and good muscles for hauling and pushing various objects or bodies, but whereas my current work goes at a fairly steady pace, riding around on this bicycle all day, tailing someone in a wheelchair, it was a different experience. Something new and fresh, and, different. I suppose that is why dog walkers make a mint in this city, because dogs need to run, and there are so many places in this city to run to, or form.

There was a day, after she died, after his sons died, where he sat for a few hours on the floor of the lounge room surrounded by old photographs and coloured building blocks. Spurred by the sudden impetus to build a castle, it had sat on the coffee table reaching skywards before he inadvertently knocked it down with a wayward book. As the blocks tumbled and fell to rest scattered across the floor he quietly got up. He then proceeded to place on appropriate shoes, appropriate clothes and lock the door behind him. He walked to the residential address of a local dominatrix, who, without surprise, dressed in exquisite Japanese manga style stockings and skirts. They flouted the laws of convention and shared tea together, and afterwards he lay on her couch and stared at the ceiling.

Having the normal way of life fired from out beneath you is hard. It gets easier, but the fact that your life has dramatically changed and taken an alternate course to what you would preferred to have happened, that still remains.

Forced out of love. Fired into continuation. Forced out of marriage. Fired into continued exploration. Forced out of winsome purity. Fired into the extension of his old self into his new self, and beyond. Forced out of habit through fire. Through the same fire fired into an entirely different convention. A lifestyle was obliterated in fickle flames and falling rubble, and he was instead fired into a life replete with the memories of the old, and the nuances, the possibilities, the chances of the new, and the exciting, and all else, so much more.
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Current Music: What You Own - RENT OST
Dr. Sid Hammerback, ME
15 May 2009 @ 09:25 pm
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 1007

What languages do you speak?

Languages, ah, I love languages. I speak fluent French, and I am especially proficient in American Sign Language. As is requisite from the love life I have chosen to lead I know how to say I love you and please bend over in more than, oh, twenty or so different tongues. However, often enough, as it happens, the tongue is sufficient to get the message across without using any words at all, not that such a talent has any real relation to how many languages a person speaks. It may help, though. Either way, talented with my tongue, or not, as some others may be, I have lived in New York City for the largest percentage of my life, and it was inevitable that I learned more languages than the largely spoken English. Continuing to live in a multicultural society as I do, I keep up the effort to try and speak in as many different languages as I find the time for, because putting phrases together varies so much across all the different tongues, and even still, across different dialects. For someone who loves life, who adores culture and art as much as I do, it just comes naturally to want to know more than I am given by simple hands, more than is readily available for me to learn as typical or ordinary.

My parents, Canadian as they are, ensured that I learnt French from an early age, and sign language was something I happened upon during the course of my life. I was in my early twenties I think, when I spent the most delicious night with an entirely deaf woman whose sense of, and talent for, touch, was beyond the exhilarating exquisite. Now, I was indeed married at that time, but also quite into the already well emerged swinging society. No injury to my wife, no, because she knew where I was that night, and as a result of this awareness I was able to give my full attention to my acquaintance. That night, oh how wonderful it was, I was given the chance to watch and fully appreciate the fluidity of the way her hands moved in her type of physical speech. Suffice to say, being friendly with that woman as I was in times afterward, opened a few doors for me in the deaf community, and I gained, from assorted teachings and classes thereafter, my proficiency in another type of language.

Choosing to do French at school was largely useless for me after a certain age, so as I continued my education I took up Spanish. Spanish is yet another language I find very common across some strains of society, where people have moved from here or there and brought their entire background and culture with them. They bring their food as well, oh, how glorious food of different countries can be. Just as French can be romantic, Spanish also has that ability to sound utterly guttural and deprived of archetypal social niceties if a person is aware of how to use it properly to achieve a desired effect. While my accent, strongly Canadian as it sometimes can sound, is more readily lent to French, being able to speak Spanish has distinct advantages. Where French may not be working with a woman, or a man for that fact, Spanish is often successful, and is entirely useful when I may be out and about and would like to listen in on a conversation or help to solve an argument.

As for the other languages I speak, well, I do enjoy a smattering of different languages. My Chinese is very basic, and my Japanese is rusty but still with a low level of fluency, having not lost any in the passing years. I have more recently enjoyed trying to learn Greek, which now is probably just as good as my Japanese is, and if I remember correctly, I have basic abilities in Portuguese, and am slightly better at German. I have some or much talent with Lithuanian according to the situation. For the time being, when I find time I try to improve my Japanese and Greek speaking abilities, although trying to fit these in with my musical and dance interests, along with my job, sometimes proves hazardous to my brain. It is alright though; I have, hopefully, many years left ahead of me, and plenty of spare hours when all my paperwork is finished, to continue to educate myself in my particular areas of language interest.

New York City is a great place for learning languages, and for providing the impetus to do so. While I may not spent as much time outside of the building I work in as my colleagues do, my languages skills have occasionally proved useful when a translator can not be reached. Aside from that, it is just generally nice to be able to speak so many varied tongues, because I do not limit myself to just understanding one language, just English, or just something else. When I go out and when I walk around my home, so large it is, I come across many different people, who have many different cultures and who appear form many different backgrounds. Knowing so much, I can listen to them, to these people, and I can share the love for life, the zest for life that they have. I probably could not achieve such multicultural understanding and appreciation of this diversity if I spoke only English. I speak many languages because I love to do so, because I am interested in the linguistics of all these different people, all this sheer multitude of living beings. When I was young, I was raised with French and English and soon happened upon so much more. I was raised to be understanding, to be compassionate and loving of life, and while I now work with the dead, speaking their language and translating their mysteries, I have not given up on all else that is out there to do with words and other tongues.
Current Mood: geekygeeky
Current Music: Edelweiss - The Sound of Music