When the alarm began its high-pitched bleating this morning at an ungodly time shortly before 3 a.m., I hauled myself up from bed and already forgotten dreams and went through a ritual than I do most mornings. Finished sipping the water from the cup on my nightstand, slumped down the hallway with my furry roommate, Patrick, to let him out the back door to do his business, then hit the shave-and-shower routine.
I rarely glimpse into the mirror in the morning, particularly so at this hour, because I fear I’ll see some visage of Dorian Gray leering back at me or a bald clone of Linda Blair’s noggin’ turning 360s at warp speed. Suffice it to say, I am an early riser most mornings, but not at an hour when drunks, stoners and disappointed barflies are starting to flock to Denny’s for a nightcap of greasy eggs and oozing meatloaf.
But there I was. On assignment to help with live remotes for our local ABC affiliate, WRTV-6, beginning at 4:30 a.m. and running at the top and bottom of each hour until 6:30 a.m. It just happened to be with reporter and cameraman I have worked with several times in the past. Good folks and always on top of things.
Their news truck’s microwave tower was up and linked to their downtown Indy station. We chatted a bit about our families, the horrible weather and how TV meteorologists had pegged this latest hellish spell. Then they met some of our great crew working the overnight shift in our Emergency Room (ER ) – the people who treat others’ pains and illnesses and keep them alive while the rest of the city sleeps.
There is an unspoken word you never use when talking with ER staff. You never ask if the shift has been “quiet.” Maybe it’s a superstition or just a tradition, but you just find other ways to ask it. An emergency room is a world of mixed-bag experiences. I always have admired the way our teams operated. And this just happened to be a blessedly q---t night.