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14 May 2008 @ 06:33 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 230: Question 230  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 661


Black and white.


As some people call it, death is a very black and white thing. You are either dead or you are alive. You are dying or you are becoming better, but either way you go about it, you are either living, or not, of course. I consider this blank look at life only a partial truth, because when it comes to looking at death, where I and my thoughts are concerned, it is far from simple either or. Death is not black and white as I think of it, it is not a platitude fact, uttered afresh by someone who has seen it happens and things it the other side of the coin, no. Death is a multicoloured, vibrant event, if I ever saw one! Full of endless possibilities and intricacies, pathways and lifelines, yes, yes of course it is, and I should know, I investigate the myriad causes of it every working day, now.

While I do not consider death such a black and white thing, the act of diagnosing the cause of it, has a certain procedure to it. Checking for petechial damage or for water in the lungs, well, it either isn’t there or it is, possibly in varying degrees, of course. In my job, it is a good thing, a required thing, to be exact and thorough, both in my examination of a body, and in my collection of evidence before and after, yet also in my report, too. I see the excess or lack of something, and it helps me to determine what has actually happened, but it doesn’t mean that death becomes just either or. It is still a myriad of things, because one moment, one action, one decision, could make the whole world of difference for something, some people, for everything. I carefully take apart this myriad of things, discerning what has actually happened, and then I construct a truthful narrative out of it, telling the events, the causes, the tools and the actions of the whole ordeal.

Truthfully, some things about life are black and white, they are either or and there is no alternative about it. The newspaper, for instance, is black and white, but there, I jest, of course. No, whether or not there is a plain ham sandwich for lunch, that is black and white, sort of, but as you become more general about things, the less black and white they become. If you want this and that in such an order, then the situation is very black and white, because there is either the presence, the availability of what you want, or there isn’t. However, if you just want a ham sandwich, not a sandwich with ham and salad, chutney and all the accoutrements, then such a goal, it is easier to realise, easier to be varied and pleasing, no matter what it is.

You want a particular book, a particular item, a brand from some company that makes something, then that is a black and white situation, of course. If you just want a book, though, a thing that is pretty or one of the many similar items that performs a certain kind of function, then the more coloured the situation becomes. The same goes for death, because, at the moment of death, there are so many specific things, yet they are so loosely organised and tied together that is it a situation constructed out of a myriad of small movements, coinciding circumstances. These actions occurring in some place and situation in time, become all coupled together to accumulate, of course, in the ending of life. Specific in nature, yes, but unlike a specific book, a food, a product, there is no either or about whether or not a person in my morgue is alive. Once they arrive in my morgue, the black and white difference between being alive or dead has already been left, and what is left behind, well, what is left behind, is truly, truly, colourful.
 
 
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