Saturday, 20 October 2007
I've got shaky hands again, and I don't know why. I'm safely at home, the heating is on, the door is locked (and double locked) and my uniform is sealed in a plastic bin sack by the front door.
My hands weren't shaking earlier when I was at work, thank God. Although they should have been.
I can still smell the metallic tangy smell, my hands are washed clean but still feel sticky, and I've been searching for nail clippers since I've got home to get someone else's DNA out from under my nails. My shirt I won't wear again, I'm desperately short of them now but even if I bleach it I think it's ready for the great launderette in the sky. My strides are black so should hide the stains well - and I only have two pairs, getting hold of another takes weeks if not months.
I'm thinking about anything at the periphary of the incident - anything except what I actually dealt with. The LAS fast responder who turned up. Six hours earlier in the shift we had been at another scene, talking about his son, his car, he smiled: "you lads need some gloves?" We don't even bother making up an excuse now, their gloves are better than ours, we both know it.
At the more recent scene he wasn't smiling. No jokes about his son's college, no banter about swapping gloves for an asp. Instead I watched as he pushed a copper in the chest who got in his way, trying to keep someone alive whilst chaos happened round him.
I was working with him - I like to try and help out medical staff, it's less glamorous than some of the tasks on offer but it's still the number one role of police officers (saving life and limb). I saw that his gloves were working well, but the blood was spattered over his elbows. I knew then that it wasn't sweat I was feeling on my arms, but didn't want to look. The Gucci gloves only go so far.
Seeing the mess afterwards, gloves, tape, wires, assorted debris from the kit bags that were scattered all over.
The flash of blue strobe, a copper climbing in the Ambo for continuity, as I walk away I realise someone has put up police tape and a cordon is in place - why is it the tape is always upside down?
My hands didn't shake then, nor when I washed my arms off, or when I wrote my notes.
But now I'm on the prowl for diversion in the middle of the night, in my home, and they won't stop shaking. And there's no bloody booze in the house. Whatever happened to the promise of 24 hour drinking?
PS - I'll re read this post tomorrow at some point... if it's as badly written as I suspect it may be, I'll get rid of it and substitute it with some funny pictures