How is it that when I was younger, I always thought adult books were about sex and remorse, and these days so many books seem to be about growing weak and old, of children, and solitude. And remorse, still. The Sea by John Banville. I recommend it. We read it for my English bookclub. Fabulous. A poem, really. Reflexions of a life, failed perhaps, of memories, and cancer, and strange things that happened to you when you were a child.
I guess when I was young I read a lot of Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Did I mention the book before that, which I also liked? Saturday. I guess I did. I mentioned it on 2006-05-20 Books.
This entry rated R for violence! – I’m serious.
This is about two dead people.
The day didn’t start too well. Sometime around noon Claudia’s brother calls. Turns out he’s abroad with Claudia’s dad, doing a bicycle tour through Austria, Italy, Switzerland. It seems that his wife went down into the cellar today to do the laundry and found their neighbour had hung himself down there.
I called, but she did not answer the phone. I expect that the police visited her and they probably have some psychology training to deal with these situations. Later she let us know that it was feeling better again and had gone studying in the library.
Before Claudia left, we talked about this. How we hesitated to go down into our own cellar now, Claudia saying that she would not be able to stand it, me claiming to be rather cool about it. Time passes, and she had to leave. I spent the day in front of the laptop.
When Claudia came back, I cooked for her, we ate dinner, she had to leave in about twenty minutes, we talked about this and that, and then I saw something flying past the window behind Claudia’s back. A moment of total silence. Then a wet thud.
I tell Claudia to absolutely not get up. I approach the window slowly, looking up, making sure that nobody is pointing a gun at me or something. Then I look down. A dead man sprawled on the pavement and a puddle of blood around his head.
“Don’t look, there’s a dead man down there!” I tell Claudia and go to the phone to call the police – 117 here in Switzerland. I give them my name, my address, tell them what I saw: Man, blood, I live on the third floor, he seems to be dead. No, I don’t know whether he is alive or not because I’m on the third floor and just looked down.
As I put down the phone I see Claudia by the window, looking down. She is visibly shaken and sits on the sofa. I’m angry now: “Why did you look when I told you not to look!?” I take her and lead her into the bedroom. There we sit for a while, holding each other.
We decide to go. By now there are about six police cars and an ambulance on the sidewalk, people shouting, the police asking questions, packing his belongings, taking pictures. I locate the boss and tell him that I’m the one who called and that I was about to leave and whether he wanted me to stay. Yes, he said. So we waited some more, and then approached him again. One of his subordinates talked to me, I have him my name and number and was allowed to go. I walked Claudia to her studio.
Weird. Two dead on the same day.