"Hello 9-1-1. Police, fire truck or ambulance ?" An unexpected gentleness graces her voice.
"Hello 9-1-1. Police, fire truck or ambulance ?" She repeats in her more official tone.
"Yeah I've got a real... Oh god I can't help... Oh Christ have I ever got a hangover. It's killing me. I think it is really killing me. Literally killing me." The voice is strained and earnest and maybe coming from a 200 pound asian man named Charles who spent the previous three days binge drinking himself blind yet somehow managing to balance empty glasses and bottles of alcohol on his head. Or at least this is what she tells herself. Fiction sometimes keeps them at a distance.
"Oh just splitting me right down the middle of my brains. My brains are broken. My brains are literally broken."
"Sir do you need an ambulance ?" She wants to keep him at arms length as a collection of character quirks but she can hear something very real in his voice. Something very wrong.
"My brains just feel shattered. I was drinking so many... Oh Christ I can't even remember what I poured down my throat. Everything. I drank everything in the world. People are angry with me because I drank everything in the world. There's the guy that drank every last drop of alcohol. That's what they'll say but I won't be able to answer because I've got a hangover and my brains are fucked !!"
She doesn't know why the world brings these people to her but she knows what to say:
"Okay I want you to first of all calm down okay ? And listen to me. Are you listening to me ?"
"Yes." He listens.
"Okay I want you to close your eyes and imagine what I'm about to tell you. It will be hard but it will help. Are you with me ?"
"Yes." He's with her.
"Okay I want you to imagine that you are an innocent 13 year old girl in the back yard of her house You are 13 years old and you are meditating. You are floating a foot about the grass. Make the picture as detailed as possible. Imagine something written on the shirt. Do you see that in your mind ?"
"Yes." He sees that in his mind.
Along with a host of other mental problems, he suffers from vivid memories of a horrible hangover that he just can't shake, he explains to her. He was haunted by a hangover but now he feels a lot better.
She says goodbye and waits for another warning from her boss.
But in a week, she's once again looking for a new job.
Her voice stays sweet.