There Should Always Be Flowers

December 19, 2007
By
The wind whipped past him, testing his balance as he swayed in the breeze. He stepped back from the brink; he wasn’t ready, not yet at least.

Below a crowd had started to gather, humanity's voracious appetite for the predicaments of others drawing packs of bystanders. The best and worst stood shoulder to shoulder, below this vision of a disturbed human being.

He chuckled dryly to himself.

“Nothing like a long drop to bring them baying for blood”.

He wondered in passing, if among the sheer number of silent spectators, one would venture forth and with good intentions, brave the heights in attempt to change his mind.

No, such events were reserved for wayward youths with pitiable stories and delirious old men who evoked warm memories of loved ones lost. Ragged, middle aged homeless who, by the standards of many, were a degrading blemish, hardly warranted such charitable treatment.

He looked down into the seething mass of faces, and in their complexions he understood the truth of their reasoning. They were not there to save him; their thoughts were not those of pity or longing for his safe return. In truth this crowd had gathered for a suicide, and they expected nothing less on that cold evening.

Standing unmoving on the edge he noticed with a certain grim satisfaction the impressive back-drop his death would now take. Above and around the building on which he stood, a rich cocktail of orange and red light lit the uniform windows of steel and glass. He was engulfed in the evenings dying rays.

People marvelled at the silhouette of this strange man, his shadow looming infinitely long dwarfing the congested street beneath his feet.

Never the less light was just light, and no amount could dissuade him from his morbid decision.

He considered that death would not be so terrible. The final adventure, a glorious and dignified end to a life that had been far too long devoid of either quality.

“the final adventure”

From that unforgiving precipice the nameless man stepped out of the world.

The crowd gathered around the silent corpse, each straining to catch a taste of that vicarious thrill that emanated so tangibly from it. Testament to a sad life, splattered crimson across the cold side-walk.

When each had satisfied their strange fascination ,they dispersed, walking quietly on their way. The unknown man would be soon forgotten , their daily worries quickly forcing the event firmly into the bounds of distant memory.

Down the all but deserted street, an ambulance makes its way. The pulse is checked, the body bagged and loaded with unhurried efficiency. No sadness is shown , no flowers left. They leave no reminder of the days events, such things are easily forgotten.





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