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26 May 2009 @ 10:28 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 284: Question 284  
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.
 
 
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