‘I waited till nine thirty yesterday.’ The engineer spoke as he got into the van, occupied the left seat and closed the door, ‘Was there a call?’
‘Yeah, although I am supposed to go off at nine.’ The ambulance driver replied as he drove towards the engineer’s house, ‘It was serious. An about seventies man was about to be transported.’
‘Did he make it?’ The engineer questioned.
‘Nope.’ The driver picked his mobile out of his pocket and showed his brand new wallpaper to him: a selfie with the dead man, ‘But, I scored half century, finally. He became the fiftieth man to die on my wagon. What a great career achievement!’
‘You are crazy!’ The engineer felt a sense of creepiness under his skin, ‘You didn’t upload this one on the facebook as well, did you? Otherwise, this time, believe me, you are indeed going to be thrown out of the job and I am going to find another lift every night on my way back home from the office.’
‘No, I didn’t.’ The driver smiled, ‘I don’t want my children to lose their school and friends. I don’t want them to hate even me more seeing my photos in newspaper once again and hearing foul talks about me from their friends. Not until they grow mature enough to understand this.’
‘There’s nothing to understand in this. What’s fun in clicking selfies with people who die on the way to hospital on your vehicle? They are DEAD goddamnit, it is NOT a joke.’
‘Yes, they are DEAD, indeed, they are dead, who didn’t even get a chance to place conclusion to their lives. What’s the meaning of life when in the end, you cannot even raise a toast to all the accomplishments you made in your life? What’s the point when you can’t even recall all your good deeds in the end?’
It is my duty to keep people alive till they reach hospitals, it is my duty to keep the feeling of them being around alive till their achieved purposes are found.
‘You know nothing about death, you haven’t seen it yet.’
‘Don’t say this to a man who has borne the blood of fifty people on his eyes, whose heartbeats ran thousands of miles faster than you engineers’ machines when he wanted to become a hero of these people for a few moments, who would cut his legs had they stopped working when he needed them the most- when transporting the patients. You can say that my actions are wrong, but you cannot say that my perceptions are.’
‘Okay. Your actions are wrong then! What ‘conclusions’ are these smiling photos with these soulless bodies going to make occur to their lives?’
‘None. But at least there’s a proof. A proof that there is no conclusion to their lives, a proof that there is no need of any conclusion only, a proof that they are NOT dead.’
‘That’s poetic, but unrealistic. The photos themselves depict these bodies to be dead. So, in fact, you are rooting for death, rather than life.’
The ambulance stopped as it arrived at the gate of a society. The driver looked at the narrow lane that led from the gate to a row of houses, ‘You are an engineer. You are supposed to build things, to innovate things. But, it is not always that to build something, you just have to join things. If you want to construct a tunnel through mountains, you don’t need the bricks. You will instead destroy some parts of the mountain. But, that does not imply that the destroyed rocks have served no purpose. Their existences have indeed concluded into something, some purpose, and also into some other form.’ The driver took a deep breath, ‘Now, it is my duty to keep people alive till they reach hospitals, it is my duty to keep the feeling of them being around alive till their achieved purposes are found.’
‘And, according to you, when will the purposes be found?’
‘Never. That’s not possible, and that’s not a part of my job either.’
The driver smiled. The engineer got down the van, and as he closed the door, he peeked in through the window, ‘Hey, what about you? Who is going to take a picture of you happily when you die, and then, store it forever?’
‘I myself drive the ambulance, engineer!’ The driver responded.
‘But, you don’t know when you will die!’ The engineer exclaimed.
‘You see, I indeed know much about death, my friend!’ He took his cellphone in his hands, turned it around, closed his eyes, and stopped breathing. He deprived himself of the air till he started feeling his head was about to get blown. As the near-end experience reached its saturation, he clicked a photo, and then, took the air in. Alive! He moved that photo to a folder, and renamed it ‘The_Last_Ride #569’ to let it fit in the series. He turned to the shocked engineer as he turned on the ignition, ‘I always assume every ride to be my last ride!’