A locus for eccentrics (hopefully)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cold death

Someone died right in front of me once. It was February 16th, 1991.

I was walking home from work in downtown Minneapolis and the man was postured on the sidwalk. Night had just come. No one else was around.

The man had black hair and wore a camel wool coat, now soaked over a pool of blood. It was cutting a little stream in the snow. His black knit cap had fallen off and his steady blue eyes looked at me. His chest rose and fell like he was catching his breath after climbing too many stairs.

Now, in the movies, dying people in their final moments always say something profound, like Tell so-and-so I love her, or Don't leave me or I don't want to die. He didn't say anything like that. Not even Help me.

I called for an ambulance from the little market two blocks down and returned to the man. Still no one had noticed him. I was alone with the man. I noticed he was about my age.

We watched each other as I sat in the snow beside him. And then he seemed to go to sleep. The ambulance was coming, it was maybe four blocks away.

It started to snow and I stood and walked away.


Blogger Jefe said...

The lack of drama in such a moment is the most unnerving thing for me.

10:30 AM

Blogger neill said...

I would imagine that having a soundtrack would help me deal with it, yeah.

10:43 AM


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