And in that way was my role in the slum created. If fate doesn’t make you laugh, Karla said, in one of my first conversations with her, then you just don’t get the joke. As a teenager I’d trained in first-aid treatment. The formal course of study had covered cuts, burns, sprains, breaks, and a wide range of diagnostic and emergency procedures. Later, I’d earned my nickname, Doc, by using my training in CPR to pull junkies out of overdoses, and save their lives. There were hundreds of people who only knew me as Doc. Many months before that morning in the slum, my friends in New Zealand had given me the first-aid kit as a going-away present. I was sure those threads—the training, the nickname, the firstaid kit, the work as unofficial doctor in the slum—were all connected in some way that was more than accident or coincidence. And it had to be me. Another man, with my first-aid training or better trained, wouldn’t have been forced by crime and a prison-break to live in the slum. Another criminal, ready to live there with the poor, wouldn’t have had my training. I couldn’t make sense of the connection on that first morning. I didn’t get the joke, and fate didn’t make me laugh. But I knew there was something—some meaning, some purpose, leading me to that place, and that job, at exactly that time. And the force of it was strong enough to bind me to the work, when every intuition tried to warn me away.

« And in that way was... »

A quote saved on Nov. 5, 2015.


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