Thursday, March 22, 2007

I Am A Rock . . .

The Dying of the Night Dispatcher’s Angels

Eleven-thirty, back in Jersey—
he's got to get to work on time.

From the under ground he has dug up more than one bitter passage: what's left of fifty years--a residual hour of fear. That is the misdiagnosed sadness everyone detects--life's lonely work.

But, soon he arrives, on time, at the government job he dislikes very much. He receives his briefing, and takes the seat where he will answer the troubled night-calls of the world.

“I am an idiot,” he thinks, staring at the dirt in the grooves of his fingers. It is late by then, and he wants to laugh, reminiscing first about a dream, then a girl, then music that ends it all triumphantly, gloriously, angels singing, like in a movie. But the stupid phone rings, like a body in a dumpster, throat cut. It gurgles like a sucking wound whenever someone calls.

--nine-one-one: what's your emergency?--
(post-fact-oh conversation)

“You could see his Adam’s Apple hanging out,” the cop describes the scene to him afterward. He tries not to listen but the cop keeps on. “He did it to himself," he says. "All alone. Cut his own damn throat!”

He's fifty years old
and he is sad that he feels nothing,
believes nothing.

In the morning he wipes the station with a cloth,
shoves some papers in a bin, waits for his relief,
and repeats the awful words,
“Alone. Alone."

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