It was 5:40 am and we get off at 6. They wanted us to go get a “DIFFBREATHER” on Nostrand and Lexington and I wasn’t mad at it cuz it was on the corner and corner jobs are usually grabngo.
As we roll up a little Mexican dude and wiley haired black guy are waving to us frantically. They both look happily trashed, neither is strugglin’ to breath, (no surprise there).
-You guys are heroes, the Mexican tells me in Spanish.
-Gracias, I say. Why are we here?
He points to the other dude, who’s either completely fucking Blitzed or completely fucking nuts.
-He came into my corner store, he tells me as if that explained it all.
-He looked…well, look at heem.
Whatever. We put the dude in the truck and the Mexican told us we were heroes again and went on his merry drunk way.
My partner Mr. C was lookin edgy but I didn’t know why cuz I was standing outside the ambulance on the bumper.
-Whats the problem today, sir?
-Where you in New York City in 1995? The guys asks Mr. C.
He looks at me. –What about you? New York City, 1995?
The dude looked crestfallen.
-Why you wanna know?
That’s when I stepped into the ambulance and it hit me: a thick wave of the WORST most stankiest foulest most nastiest stanky stink E V E R was hovering like a brown cloud of shitstain. The guy smelled like the asshole of an armpit. I steadied myself with one hand.
-Alright what hospital you go to?
-He goes to the hospital we can get to fastest, Mr. C said.
I concurred and literally jumped out the back the ambulance. The dude picked something out of his ear and looked at nothing in particular with those big boggly eyes.
I was feelin kinda bad about leaving Mr C back there but then i hopped up front and realized the smell was not contained to the back cabinet. The foulness fucking surrounded me, demolished my whole sense of self for a few seconds until I cleared my head. I looked down and watched the milk in my coffee curdle (Ok, that’s not true- i never put milk in my coffee…)
All the windows on the ambulance rolled down simultaneously. I switched my heavy duty lights and get-the-fuck-out-my-way sirens on, hung my head out the drivers side window and hauled ass to the hospital past wilting flowers and dying squirrels. Made it there at 5:51, panting, and spent the last nine minutes of tour airing out ambulance.