Dada

It made no sense. The 911 tones sounded, but the weather was bad, so the radio cut in and out and details were garbled. Half the corps never even heard the tones.

What road? What happened? Who’s responding? Three of us scrambled from bed anyway, heading to the building, figuring we’d sort it out on the way.

Never rely only on a bureaucracy or a machine. They’re stupid and they break. A century ago, Huelsenbeck said, “To sit in a chair for a single moment is to risk one’s life.”

Turned out there were two calls and two patients that day. One screaming from a pain that had no apparent source. Another who was fine, having simply fainted at the checkout counter and needing a ride home, though fine meant able to enjoy a day against a cancer that would kill him within months. It made no sense.

Sometimes there is no logic, no wisdom, no reason, no rhyme. A dead zone in a valley, a life fractured on a hill. Situations and circumstances that that don’t care, don’t connect, just are.

Such was the day. Dada.

Raoul Hausmann — Linocut, 1918