Monday, 19 May 2014


She's wearing a long black coat, fake fur around the collar, like she's wearing a fox for a necklace. And although the sun has already set, sunglasses rest on her head; gaudy, silvery arms that hold on to giant darkened lenses. One of the lenses is shattered but still intact, as though a spider had built its web all the way across. Her handbag, with its plaited rope handle still loosely around her arm, has spilled its contents across the pavement. Lipstick, coins, old receipts and chewing gum are sprawled across the ground much like their fallen owner. 

On the outskirts of the scene, it's like trying to empty flood-waters out of a sinking ship with a teaspoon. Two police officers fight back the threatening crowd, as a third attempts to tie the blue and white tape across the only access that doesn't involve climbing a fence. Each time he ties one end, someone tears down the other. It takes the threat of a taser before the massed mob take a hesitant step back and as they do, back-up arrives, giving the police more of a chance.

We're in the middle. Surrounded on all sides of the open ground by people who could be friends or foe of our patient. They could be idle bystanders too. Some may be able to tell a story, to give us some facts, some history. But none could tell the story as well as the obvious evidence on the ground.  

We walk up to her, through the mob, through the strategically placed line of officers, through the spilled contents of her bag, through the pools of blood and golden, gleaming bullet cases, through the torrent of screams and curses and cries for us to do something. 

As the mob takes a step closer and holds its collective breath, one look tells us that the evidence - the handbag, the glasses, the bullets and blood and broken skin - is overwhelming. Even the mob knows: there is nothing more to be done. 

1 comment:

Compostwoman said...

Oh. Was she shot through the eye? Poor lady, poor you for having to deal with it all :(