somebody committed suicide at the mall earlier. he jumped to his death. and you know what? malling just went on. the guards covered up the body and dispersed the curious onlookers and that was that. even witnesses to the death just wondered why people fell headfirst (“maybe it’s because heads are heavy?”) and that was that. to die in such a way in a public place and be set aside so easily, to be even less than a spectacle, reduced to a roadblock, a curiosity, easily dismissed–it’s awful.
aviva and i were there within the hour it happened. when we heard about it (rather belatedly, for there was no hullabaloo), we gleefully (yes gleefully) hurried off to where that person jumped. it seemed an exciting thing to see an actual suicide. yet even as we neared the site of death we noticed no signs of disturbance, of agitation, of trauma. people went about their business as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. we got to the site, saw where that person fell, saw it covered with white canvass. people just passed by it; one or two people tried to lift the canvass and sneak a look at the body. we lingered near the site, wondering about the suicide when a guard approached us, telling us not to loiter; nothing happened, he said, nothing at all.
that life was nothing, that death was nothing, the world spinned madly on. blood had to be cleaned up, authorities had to be called, inconveniences had to be covered up, sales had to be made.
when i posted about this experience on facebook, a lot of the comments i got went along the lines of “too bad i wasn’t there! too bad i didn’t see it!”
i thought it would be cool to see it too, to blog about what an interesting experience it was. but i left with this feeling of meaninglessness. what could have driven that person to take his life? what immensity of trouble, of feeling pushed him over the edge? and such a public way to die too. you’d think he was making a statement. but whatever his troubles were, whatever he wanted to say–all that was lost, the way his guts will be wiped off the gleaming tiles, the way this incident will soon fade away from people’s memories.