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22 October 2006 @ 03:25 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 148: Question 148  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 922


What keeps you up at night?


What keeps me up at night is not what keeps most normal people up at night. I can clearly split this thought up into two halves. Sometimes, my work keeps me up at night, and sometimes, my family does. This isn’t as normal as it sounds.

In the course of my work I cut up and process the bodies of the deceased to find out who or what has caused their, most often, untimely demise. With careful precision and much practice behind my movement, I collect evidence, I wash them down if needed, and I cut them open if that is so how it is going to go. I cut what needs to or should be cut, and sometimes, I weigh internal organs. It is in my nature, yes, to work hard, and so sometimes I end up with a double shift, or filling in for someone who is ill, when our staff numbers fall short. When I am not cutting up dead bodies, I may be cooking, and that too, can be something which keeps me up at night. There is, for someone who has worked in many kitchens of varying degrees of sophistication, nothing like a busy dinner shift. There is a certain elegance and fulfilled monotony of serving up a hundred or so dinners, and then doing the washing up. The dance is there, to be danced, and indeed, it is one I have done many times.

What I bring out of this collection of thoughts is that my job, my present one and my past one, which I sometimes still spend time in the haunts of, have both had the potential to keep me up at night, and that is most certainly what they have ended up doing, some of the time. I don’t mind working at night though, because it is actually different from working in the day. As people approach their usual bedtimes, or go beyond them, things change, and the game, the work, may have to be played differently. Many friendships arise when you know you would like to be sleeping, or that others would like to be sleeping, but you, or them, can’t. Silly card games are sometimes played, but that fails in having as much significance as night time friendships on a whole.

When my children were born, they kept me up at night. Early on in their lives, as squalling infants needing of feeding, changing, cleaning and general parentage, they took up my time, both in the day and during the night. I didn’t mind, I never minded though, because I loved them, and because of that, I cared for them, in both a mental and physical sense. It is a daunting notion, being a parent, but one that is, none the less, replete with memorable moments and much fondness. Things change, however, and unfortunately, my children no longer keep me up at night.

Further back in time, my wife kept me awake at night. She was, as some women are, impetuous and whimsical, but never in a way that was annoying or derisive, unless, of course, she secretly chose to act that way just to wind me up. T she did, sometimes, of course, with great passion, dedication, and the most glorious legerdemainic wit. I am oft to say that love is one of the greatest, strongest and most noble of emotions, comparable to other strong lines of feeling such as hate, envy or wild compassion. For me, as an individual, my wife proved this notion as something true and entirely, realistically, believable. When she kept me up at night, whether through late night coffee trips to secluded cafes, or through other, more delicate and intimate ministrations, I always knew I loved her, I always knew, we would last.


I still love my wife and my children, but, in my life, the only thing that keeps me up at night now, is my job. Without that part of my family, I’ve taken to my job to keep my mind of their absence, and, if I through myself into it hard enough, it works. I am not saying that I think about loss all the time, indeed I don’t, because I have long since learnt to adequately deal with that part of my life, but, when the emotions, the feelings, the memories and innate desires, begin to churn my insides, then, if I don’t do something else, talk to someone else, then I work. I look for free shifts, for people who are sick or off work, and I fill a spot that would otherwise, anyway, be filled by someone else. I work double shifts, and I don’t mind, because the work is honest, the work is good, and the work helps.

As people, what keeps us up at night is often due either to something personal, or something environmental. Lovers or location, as it where, children or the fact that your house might be by a train line. As individuals, what keeps us up at night is, very often, specific to ourselves. If it distresses us or hinders us, then we find a way to solve the problem, and if it entices and delights us, then we indulge. If it troubles us, it will get resolved, but, sometimes, when the absence is too large, the sorrow too deeply ripped into a certain place without physical bearing, then it takes longer to work it out. Whatever keeps us up at night, however, we continue. We continue, we live, and we, are, great.
 
 
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Current Music: Come Together - The Beatles