Boo

Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Thursday, November 16, 2006

boots wrapped in plastic

I saw a dead man in the park on Tuesday.

It was pretty distubing really. I saw the ambulance first, and, as I got nearer, the paramedics. They were closing up the ambulance and as I walked past I saw a shape covered in black plastic. Just his boots were poking out. That's why I'm pretty sure it was a man - old scuffed large boots. He was lying next to a bench, on which a second man was sitting, hood over his eyes, not clearly upset or part of what was unfolding, just another homeless man on a park bench.

A group of policemen were standing about, and the whole scene had an air of uncertainty - a 'what shall we do now?' kind of feeling. I hurried on my way, trying to block the image of dead feet poking out of plastic.

On my way back through the same park, over half an hour later, I saw the ambulance had gone. When I noticed the black shrouded figure still lying on the ground my optimism kicked in. Maybe he's not dead, maybe he's just unconcscious and they decided to leave him there to come round. Four policemen were standing nearby all writing in their little notebooks, and exchanging smalltalk. They're probably hanging around waiting for him to wake up. When I passed the group, and glanced at the lying figure, I realised how feeble my hopes had been and that he was never going to wake up. The plastic was wound tightly around his head.

I walk through that park quite a bit, and yesterday as I made my way down the same path, there was no sign of the previous day's scene. I looked at the rows of benches and felt ashamed that I couldn't even pick out the bench he'd been lying beside. I wondered about his life, about his family, or lack. Did he have friends who will miss him? Had he known some happiness and certainty at some point or had his life always been made of park benches and dirty scuffed boots? Then I noticed the one red candle, flickering by the end of a bench. So that was the one. And at least one person does remember him.

Later that evening, passing through the park once again I noticed a second candle had been placed by the first. Both had blown out.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've wondered how long homeless people live in Poland. It seems like after becoming full-blown homeless, they must not survive for long. Ever seen an old homeless man here? Not many.

Nate

[url=http://www.bostonenglish.pl/]angielski poznan[/url]

7:29 pm  
Blogger Becca said...

Oh I've seen a few in the summer, I think in the winter they sleep in the shelters though, sensibly.

9:28 am  

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