Thursday, November 11, 2010

A dream.

Second night shift.

We finally head back to the depot in the deep, dark hours of the night. Pfffffftttt, I let myself fall on to the recliner, my dead weight heavily pushing out all the air previously trapped under the faux leather covers. Click click crunch, up goes the footrest. Squeeaaak, down goes the backrest. The chair, although rickety, comfily mould to my tired body, and soon I drift off to...

...the back of the ambulance. I am sitting in the attendance seat, an elderly gentleman on the stretcher beside me. Full treatment is on the way, hooked up to the ECG, IV's running, SpO2 probe on. He is topless, his skin is a pale, mottled, sickly colour. An 'Eau de Old' fills the air, wafting from his pores, his vaguely active sweat glands covering his skin in slippery moisture. 

All of a sudden his arm is in front of my face. Is he angry? Is he attacking me? What is wrong?

I open my mouth, lick his arm, and then half-heartedly bite it as it accidentally (or incidentally?) moves towards me. Salty sweat and weeks of neglected personal hygiene mix on my taste buds to an utterly indescribable taste that immediately makes me dash to the back door of the van where our cleaning equipment is kept. I grab some Isowipes and hastily wipe my mouth out, the salty-stale taste making way for an overpowering disinfectantly, alcoholic clean taste. In order to completely get rid of all yukkybugs I douse my tongue, gums and teeth with alcohol based hand cleaner, images running through my head similar to Mr. Bean covering his tongue in out of date oysters (video from minute 2:38).

Yet the images of flaky, pale skin and the musty taste persist. My body twists and turns, my stomach cramps up in disgust, and...three hours later the alarm goes off for another job.

What a strange dream indeed.