Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nuristan Eye Camp Team

This morning, stuck at Prospect Park station, waiting on a sick passenger to be taken away two stations on and wondering, as whenever this happens, how it doesn't happen every day. But probably it does, such a big city system. Anyhow, the procedures are not such that the sick person is slung onto the platform so as to allow the trains to keep running. Evidently. But something like this, yet kinder--obviously--seems like it would be a good procedure. On every platform, or on every train, there could be a fold-up cot and pop-out curtains to surround it; at every other station there could be a station nurse on call. The nurse could enter, diagnose, and as necessary deputize some other passengers to assist with the sick one's removal. Bonus salary points and free rides to be awarded to the swift.

Yesterday at work I came to the end of the barricade. Also the end of Grantaire, offering himself like a chair leg flung onto the fire--with absolute lucidity; utterly humble; he dies hand in hand with Apollo (or, The Man He Loves) a hero's death. The understanding of the barricade and of the house doors that will not open to the insurrectionists who finally seek escape--the understanding that their revolution did not "catch" so those inside the houses only battened down their hatches, only waited out the hours until the army, as it must, could finally storm the barricade and kill everybody left inside--the understanding that this doesn't matter, or matters so little that even a person who was drunk at the outset and slept through the climax could wake up and still know what side to be on in the end, without hesitation--and that maybe, always, the quieter side of the firing squad makes better standing: all this understanding that Victor Hugo has so painstakingly built up and conveyed to the reader, he gives to Grantaire in an instant, like a whispered cathedral. So that to read about Grantaire, even at work, could make a person more brave.

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