Yellow Mama Archives II

Ron Riekki
Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
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Centorbi, David Calogero
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Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
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Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
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Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
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Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
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Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
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Galef, David
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Greenberg, KJ Hannah
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Irwin, Daniel S.
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Kompany, James
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Koperwas, Tom
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Larsen, Ted R.
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Leotta, Joan
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Lucas, Gregory E.
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Lukas, Anthony
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Mannone, John C.
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Martinez, Richard
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Nielsen, Judith
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Parker, Becky
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Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
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Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
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Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

Ron Riekki

The Cop and the Medic

by Ron Riekki

“The world is crazy.”

“No, no insanity there.  They knew what they were doing.”

“Both medics are dead?”


“You know either of ‘em?”


“You don’t seem affected.”

“I didn’t know ‘em.”

“But they’re medics.”

“They were.  They’re corpses now.  I didn’t know ‘em alive and I don’t know ‘em dead.”


“Jesus has nothing to do with this.”

“I’m just saying, if these were two dead cops, I’d be pissed.”

“Well, I’m not happy about it.”

“Nothing you can do?”

“They’re dead.  This is coroner stuff now.”

“You’re not going to try to bring them to the E.R. or nothing?”

“Bring two corpses to the E.R.?  You know how pissed they’d be.  The E.R.s are filled with everyone.  Families.  Kids.  Babies.  Whatever.  You know how angry they’d be if I bring in a couple corpses?  I can’t do that.  I have to go back to that E.R., probably tonight.  You do something like that and you’re gonna get blacklisted.  Nurses hate corpses.  Docs too.  Me too.”

“OK, OK.”

“I’m just saying.”

“OK.  Where you take ‘em then?”

“The coroner’s supposed to come.  But sometimes they make us take ‘em to the morgue.  Which I hate, because I’m not a taxi driver.  I have other things I could be doing, like saving people’s lives, not driving dead people around.”

“So what’re you doing now?”


“For the coroner?”

“Yup.  And you?”


“For who?”


“So we’re both useless.”

“We’re both useless.  But we’re getting paid.  What you make?”

“You don’t wanna know.”

“I do.”

“Yeah, because you make more than me.”



“No, what you make though?”


“An hour?”


“That’s terrible.”

“I didn’t get into medicine for the money.”

“I thought that’s the only reason people get into medicine.”

“What you make?”

“I’m salary.”


“Not hourly.”

“OK, quit beating around the bush.”


“An hour?”


“A year?”

“A year.”

“I can make that, but only with crazy overtime.  And I fucking hate overtime.  Overtime is where you kill people, make mistakes, swap bottles, fuck up.  Overtime and medics should never go together.”

“I’m on overtime right now.”

“Hate it.”

“Hey, I’m salary, so there’s no overtime for me.  That’s why we always get it.”

“We had a guy, fell asleep, an EMT, driving the ambulance, because those fuckers really have to live off overtime.  You can’t pay rent as an EMT without overtime.”

“He die?”

“The EMT?”



“He probably wished he was dead though, crashing an ambulance.”


“The patient get hurt?”

“What patient?”

“The one in back of the ambulance.”

“Oh, no.  There wasn’t no patient.  Just him and his partner.  His partner got fucked up.  He was sleeping on the back gurney, which is nasty.  Patients die on those things.  Bad luck to sleep on a gurney.”

“Well, he found out.”


“So, I’m curious, a lot of you guys die?  On the job?”



“Some.  I suppose.”

“How many died at your company?”

“Since I been there?”


“Just these two.  No, three.  Another guy too.”

“What happened?”


“Oh, I don’t count those.”

“You don’t count suicides?”

“No, with cops.  No.  We only count the guys who get shot by other people.  Or crashes.  Or whatever.  But we don’t count the suicides.”

“Why not?”

“We just don’t.”

“Who’s ‘we’?”


“So you don’t count the suicides?”


“So how many cops died since you started working?”

“I’m new.”

“How new?”

“Nine months.  A pregnancy.”

“You’re a rookie?”

“I don’t like to think so.  How long you been a medic?”

“Nine years.”

“A dozen pregnancies.”

“Well, two.  I got two kids.”

“I’d never have kids.”


He points to the ground.

We look at the bodies.  He’s right.  They were doing CPR on a kid, a child, but turns out the child was in a gang and the gang members from the opposing gang didn’t want the kid’s life saved, so they opened fire.  Just killed ‘em all.  The kid, both medics, and some guy who happened to be on the street.  We didn’t even focus on that guy.  When we arrived, we focused like lasers on the medics.  One was obviously dead.  Took one to the head.  But the other one, we tried to save him, but it was useless.  He’d lost about three liters of blood.  You ain’t coming back from that.  It was all over the ambulance.  Doing CPR on an ambulance, the back doors open, and this kid walks up, just sprays ‘em.  Then turns and just randomly shoots some guy on the street.  The world is crazy.  And I got two kids.  They’re going to grow up in this world.

“What’s that?”

“I got two kids.  They’re going to grow up in this world.”

“Yeah, you said that.”

“I did?”

Was I saying everything?  Was I that exhausted?  The exhaustion on these shifts can eat you up.  I thought about food.  There’s a pretty good restaurant nearby.  Open all night.  We could go there.  Try to eat as fast as possible before the next shooting.  That sounded good.  That sounded like perfection.

Ron Riekki’s books include Blood/Not Blood Then the Gates (Middle West Press), My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Loyola University Maryland’s Apprentice House Press), Posttraumatic (Hoot ‘n’ Waddle), and U.P. (Ghost Road Press).  Right now, Riekki’s listening to Cliff Martinez's "Will It Hurt" from The Knick original series soundtrack.

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