I Go to Extremes


By MTopaz

Ezra sped down the lonely stretch of highway. He was in his Porscheóthe precious Porsche that had only fueled the rumors of him being on the take. He wouldíve explained about the car being a gift, but who would even listen to him now? The gossip mill had already done its damage. Ezra was tainted. No one wanted to work with him. No one believed his protestations of innocence. Why was he still there? Why did he still try so hard to do his job well when it didnít seem to matter anymore?

Call me a joker, call me a fool
Right at this moment Iím totally cool
Clear as a crystal, sharp as a knife
I feel like Iím in the prime of my life

He was at the top of his game, but everything was spinning out of his reach. When had he lost the precious control heíd had over his life, his emotions?

Sometimes it feels like Iím going too fast
I donít know how long this feeling will last
Maybe itís only tonight

Heíd always been a bit of a maverick, but heíd gotten results. He had few allies within the FBI, but at least no one had questioned his skill or his integrity. Now those same qualities that were once permitted, even lauded, were deemed inappropriate. He was a ďlonerĒ, a ďhot shotĒ whose reckless antics were going to get someone killed. Ezra was giving them all he had, just as heíd always done. What more did they want? His very life?

Darling, I donít know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low there ainít no in-betweens
And if I stand or I fall
Itís all or nothing at all
Darling, I donít know why I go to extremes

Ezra held his breath at the sudden sharp pain in his side. Maybe he shouldnít have checked himself out of the hospital so soon. But he just couldnít bear to be incarcerated there any longer. The only visitors he had were the ghouls on the medical staff, of course, and the two imbecilic investigators who came to interrogate him. Naturally, the bust had gone wrong because of him. It was implied that he had only himself to blame for getting shot. They hadnít bothered to find out why his backup was so late in making its appearance.

He was right to make his escape. He was too vulnerable there. No one would miss him anytime soon, anyway. Mother had been right about one thing at leastóalways look out for number one because no one else would. Ezra Standish was on his own.

Sometimes Iím tired, Sometimes Iím shot
Sometimes I donít know how much more Iíve got
Maybe Iím headed over the hill
Maybe Iíve set myself up for the kill

Perhaps he had become reckless. Heíd certainly been getting injured more often lately. Maybe it didnít matter as much anymore. He was so tired of being wrong, so tired of being on the outside.

Tell me how much do you think you can take
Until the heart in you is starting to break?
Sometimes it feels like it will

Why did their disregard hurt so much? He should be used to it. Maybe he was losing his touch. Where was the hard exterior heíd created so long ago to protect himself from Maude and the vagaries of her world?

Heíd thought about leaving the FBI, but where would he go? Another agency would look at his record and turn him down out of hand. Being an undercover agent was the only legal use he could see for the talents mother had cultivated in him. For a brief moment he saw himself in some sunny locale, toasting his mother on another successful con. He shook it off and floored the gas pedal.

Out of the darkness, into the light
Leaving the scene of the crime
Either Iím wrong or Iím perfectly right every time
Sometimes I lie awake, night after night
Coming apart at the seams

No matter how tempting, he couldnít go back to that lifestyle. But what else could he do? Who was Ezra Standish without the job? Heíd spent his whole life spinning lies and wearing different faces. Did anyone know the real Ezra? Did he?

Darling, I donít know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low there ainít no in-betweens
And if I stand or I fall
Itís all or nothing at all
Darling, I donít know why I go to extremes

Ezra took the curve so fast he swerved out onto the shoulder. For a moment he thought the car was going to roll over, but it managed to stay upright. He sat there, trying to catch his breath. His heart was beating frantically. It was just adrenaline. He wasnít afraid of death. Ezra faced it every day. It was dying out here on a lonely road without a soul knowing where he was that frightened him. He laughed, nervously at first, then bitterly. Who would care? No one would come for himónot even his mother. Even if he died surrounded by his colleagues, heíd still die alone.

Ezra pulled back onto the highway and turned around. In no time he was up to his previous speed. There was a job waiting for him back there. It was all he had that meant anything. But he wouldnít let them hurt him again. He would build those walls stronger and thicker than ever before. Trust no one. Rely on no one. If he didnít care what they thought, didnít care about them, they couldnít hurt him.

He would do his job. Heíd be the best theyíd ever seen and heíd ram it down their throats. And if the job killed him, so what? It probably wouldnít hurt as much as the betrayal and abandonment. Heíd had enough of that to last a lifetime.

Eager to please, ready to fight
Why do I go to extremes?

The End

I Go to Extremes
Call me a joker, call me a fool
Right at this moment Iím totally cool
Clear as a crystal, sharp as a knife
I feel like Iím in the prime of my life
Sometimes it feels like Iím going too fast
I donít know how long this feeling will last
Maybe itís only tonight

Refr.: Darling, I donít know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low there ainít no in-betweens
And if I stand or I fall
Itís all or nothing at all
Darling, I donít know why I go to extremes

Sometimes Iím tired, Sometimes Iím shot
Sometimes I donít know how much more Iíve got
Maybe Iím headed over the hill
Maybe Iíve set myself up for the kill
Tell me how much do you think you can take
Until the heart in you is starting to break?
Sometimes it feels like it will

Refr.:

Out of the darkness, into the light
Leaving the scene of the crime
Either Iím wrong or Iím perfectly right every time
Sometimes I lie awake, night after night
Coming apart at the seams
Eager to please, ready to fight
Why do I go to extremes?

Refr.:

--Billy Joel