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September 20, 2009
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I hear the sirens at night. And,  although I have lived in this current location for over ten years, and the number of sirens I hear at night has gradually increased these past ten years, the sound still unnerves me. I have not gotten used to it.

I lived in Chicago for 3 years back in the ’80’s, and although the neighborhoods surrounding the one I was living in were more dangerous than the neighborhoods surrounding the one I live in now, here in California, I hear many more sires. It was not always this way.

This town has gotten larger, as cities in California do – more people equals, among many other things, more heart attacks, accidents, drug overdoses, and murders.

I hear the sirens in the night.

It doesn’t help that the area in which I live is between the 2 main streets that go to two of the three hospitals here in town.  I don’t know if construction of the newest hospital, on the outskirts of the city, is even finished. Even if it is, I hear as much as two thirds of the city’s ambulance traffic, each night.

I still feel somewhat peaceful late at night, at times, and will probably always be a night owl, preferring to go to sleep at around 3 am or so. But, I don’t want to hear the sirens. Each is another reminder of someone out there, a fellow human being, in pain. And considering I don’t have the faith of a praying man, there isn’t a damn thing I can do for these people, who are carried to an uncertain fate in the ambulances that I hear wailing in the night.

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