Saturday, June 05, 2004

So Steve is gone until tomorrow night. I woke up this morning and I was happy that I had the place to myself. It started off a good day. The sun was shining, the streets were quiet below, I was feeling well. I made myself a nice breakfast then settled myself on the balcony in the morning sun and started reading a book I've long neglected. It was nice in the sun, and my legs are still feeling a bit burnt even 12 hours later. At one point I shifted my chair to the oposite side the balcony because I love the view of the apartment building my balcony overlooks. I was really enjoying myself, considering I had never spent any extended time on the balcony in the nine months I've lived here.

I took a break from reading, to use the washroom, to fill up my glass, to give my legs a break from the sun. For some reason I decided to make Jello. That's when I heard it. The police have been around here a lot lately. There was that late night stop out side my window, and then there was that terrible accident yesterday. My curious mind heard the sound and had to go look. I checked toward the construction site first expecting another accident but there was nothing there. I know I heard the police, and it sounded so close, still I didn't see anything. As I started to walk away from the window I glanced to my left toward the apartment building that I love. I was shocked. Three police cars, three ambulances, and the loud siren of a fire truck fast approaching. What was going on? I guess my first inclination was to assume it was a robbery. By why the ambulance? Why the fire truck?

And then I saw it...

A body lying still on the pavement below. Small crowd of people stood around waiting for the paramedics to jump into action. He or she, looked natural to me, lying in what looked to be green scrubs. I couldn't see any blood, the body didn't look mangled, yet I knew without a doubt that he had fallen. People fron their balconys looked directly down onto the sceen unfolding below. I saw the paramedics aggressively performing chest compressions as he was placed onto the backboard, the firemen worked quickly to tape off the area. It was horrifying. Never something I imagined to see. I looked up to see where he had fallen from, and instantly I knew it was the the apartment on the right, on the 13th floor. It was the only sliding door screen left partially open.

With in minutes the ambulance drove off, as did the firetruck. I watched at forensics arrived and started taking pictures. I watched a people came to move their cars out from the taped off area, and I saw the officer on teh balcony of the apartment I had already suspected. I watched on and off until the police tape came down, until all the police cars had left. I still look now after nightfall at the apartment and see a small light on, wondering. I can't stop wondering.

A million things are going through my head. Why was I out on the balcony today? Of all days to start going out there? Why today? And what possessed me to go inside? Why happend to this guy? Did he fall? Did he jump? Was it even a guy? Did he live alone? Surely he couldn't have survived, 13 floors is a long way to fall. Have I seen him before? Had I not left the balcony maybe he would have been too embarassed to jump?

This sceen, these thoughts, they have not left me today. I started off the day being glad that I was alone, and now the only thing I want is for Steve to hug me.

Ronald Reagan died today. His death is important, it is all over the news, and it's a constant reminder of what happed just a few hundred feet away from me. I'm finding myself in random fits of crying throughout the day. I feel like life is so much suffering. I can't understand it. I can't understand anything. This day have been long; it has be surreal. I'm afraid to sleep tonight, I fear what I may dream. I don't want to wake up to know that I am alone here tonight. And I don't want that man or woman to feel scared, or his loved ones to feel lonely. I want to believe that he survived, stranger things have happened.

As I looked out at his balcony, I saw the bike on his balcony, I saw the fridge cart. I thought of the empty apartment, and was filled with the greatest sense abandonment. To know these things that all had purpose to this man and this man alone could now be obsolete. With no one to value them. And I wonder, is that how this man felt? Is that what drove him to jump? Or did he even jump? Maybe he tripped on that fridge cart.

I hope this person's soul is confortable right now. His life passed with mine today, for whatever reason, but now I will carry that moment in time with me for me. Though I may not have ever met him (or her) I can't help but realize how fleeting life is. One morning you wake up and it's sunny, and quiet, and you think everything is going to be "perfect" and then in the time it takes to decide you want Jello, it's gone.

May you not be lonely or frightened now, where ever you are.


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