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15 March 2007 @ 04:02 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 169: Question 169  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 1155



To examine the nature of fragility, he would have to think, and think, and think. He would have to examine and re-examine so many of the things that had been once present in his life, and that no longer existed anymore, in the present world. The question was, did he really want to see himself on the inside, did he really want to dig deep into himself and uncover all the selfish fears and needy desires that had been realised? He had had no choice in letting her go, save making her stay home and safe, so was it worth examining all that he could, when he knew he wouldn’t like what he saw, and wasn’t sure that it would help at all?


One night, that night after he fell down the stairs, blurring all sense and memory, he lay in his bed, curled and wound tight, exhausted with the pain and the depth of all and everything that had gone on. His head felt better, but something still ached within it, a headache and a sense of impenetrable dread and horrendous pain, a mental malaise so strong it was almost exceedingly physical. He had thought that, she would die when they were old and retired from working, when he could have seen it coming, or perhaps, after he wasn’t around anymore, and she had lived for some time without him. He had danced through life for so long, been with her for an eternity and a day, and while he had worried sometimes, fretted occasionally, with all that he had seen, that her demise might be spelt out by unfamiliar hands, he had never thought it would ever occur on such a great magnitude. As he lay there, face planted against her pillow, trying desperately to inhale her scent, her essence, her presence, what physical moment remained of her, his face glittered with the tears of pain that examination brought, that realisation wrought. He hadn’t really thought that he’d be that easily broken. Of course, he had known that, without her, without them, the possibility was always there, but he had never thought it would happen. Not there, not now, not in the world he lived in, the one he served and loved, so dearly.


There were five stages of grief, according to the Kübler-Ross model, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, although they didn’t always have to occur in that order. Not have to, just, they didn’t always occur in the procession in which they were written, that was all. Neither did all of them have to occur, supposedly the minimal amount to be experienced was two. In reading a well worn and much appreciated copy of On Death and Dying in a second hand bookstore, the pages magnetised themselves to his fingers. While he didn’t think it would be much help, he had heard about it, had read the book before, a long, long time ago, so perhaps he could re-examined all that past knowledge once more, and keep himself a bit busier, a bit more distracted from the re-examination of so many things painful and enduring. Not that he would forget her, forget them, but he needed to balance out, all the thoughts, all the pain, terror and emotions.


One day, without thinking, he picked up a bunch of cherry red roses from a stand on the street, their petals not extremely bright, but a rich, darker colour that reminded him of the toppings of Black Forest cake. The blooms were sequacious, following one after another in the rampant uniformity of their colouring and the tight curl of their grown buds, but they each differed just slightly, making each of themselves unique within the bunch. Sid twirled the wrapped flowers in his hands, examining and re-examining them as the water dripped from the bottom of the package and onto the parched daylight pavement. He eventually bought them, after a couple of minutes, by which the vendor was looking at him with raised eyebrows and a dubious, grim line set out on his mouth. The man took them home and placed them in a vase, looked at them and smiled, before going on his way to do a bit of cleaning, to cook dinner, have a shower, go to bed. The blooms lasted for a couple of days before they began to wilt, and then he crumpled the petals onto a tray and dried them out the front of his home. When they were dried and crispy, he put them in a small glass bowl and placed them high on a shelf, taking them down occasionally to smell them, and try to remember why he had bought them in the first place, if he had no one left to give them to.


It wasn’t a full year before he brought someone home and slept with them. Charm alone assured that fact, and made sure that the woman wasn’t disturbed by the children’s drawings on the wall, by the high heeled shoes peering out of a cupboard door left ajar. There he was, this lovely man, this entertaining man, a charming, witty man, who had an entrapping stare and wonderfully talented fingers, and he wanted her, wanted exploration and indulgence. She couldn’t pay attention to the rest, to all the contents of his house, because he was nimble and quick and oh so knowledgeable man who was, one by one, hitting her buttons and unpicking her boundaries with his deftness and his mind. His eyes seemed vacant sometimes, just for moments, and she was desperate to bring him back, bring him to a point where the focus would be only on her, just on her, in one glorious, shining moment of incredulous, sycophantic passion.


When time passed, and he pieced together the small, individual elements of himself, all the ragged torn edges made to fit together somehow, into a whole again, he started to feel better. No longer did he drink to excess, and he cried only at the lowest moments. He slept and made contacts again within that realm of passion, he swung and bound people tightly against a wall with slanted lips, harsh words and rough hands. His work, wherever it occurred, in the kitchen or in the morgue, was more inspired than hit had been for many months, many weeks, many days. While there was still a just as torn and ragged hole left in his hearth, where she had once been, where they had once been, the other ragged pieces fitted together again, making a new, different kind of whole. So, while he wasn’t a different person entirely, he had changed a little, and even despite that, despite all that had happened to him, the bits pieces themselves together again, and with so much of his frailty in the past, and so much more yet to come, he desperately, desperately, wanted to live.
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