Saturday, 2 May 2009

I was just getting to the bottom of the escalators at Kings Cross station when I heard it. Like a gunshot. then the train, screeching to a stop. I knew what had happened straight away. I waited for the screams but none came. I stepped into the throng of people, slow moving, incredulous, uncertain. I could feel it. I looked, we always look, we have to know. I knew.
It had happened no more than 10 yards from me. no blood. no bits. but a guard looking down under the train. The emotional bomb wave bursting across people as they understood what had happened. like a nuclear device gone off, I felt it in my belly. growing. people silent. moving. not sure what they were feeling in themselves. trying to gauge it. the bottomlessness of it in the belly and the mind. the unknowable. death does this. suicide. does this. someones last moment on earth born witness to. shit. why did I have to have go and walk into this.

I was silent. observing. too familiar with death to feel the fear reaction. just the suppression. the shutdown. readiness to act. cold. calculating. looking instead at the people around me. such different reactions starting to take place. one man, drunk grabbing people, talking right into their faces

'did you hear it. sounded like a gun. maaan what did they do that for. the trains arent going to be running now'

his energy was ugly. I moved away from him. a girl being comforted by a train guard. she was staring. not speaking, no longer really inside herself. locked up. I could see the eyes. shock. she was gone. the guard trying to take her name and address.
she was just looking into the last place she saw a living being before they leapt.
then a big guy, another guard, starts trying to take control of the situation, move everyone away. he is completely freaked out. angry. scared. reacting by trying to take control. I move away from him too.
I dont like this.
dont like the feeling in me.
this is bad. this is real bad. this is not good.
the sensation that a soul is around here now. lost. confused. gone from this earth.
I look for the signs. why did i walk into this? just yards from me. people gone from the station. maybe just ten of us now lingering. everyone just stood confused. not knowing what to do. I look at the Bondi line, wondering if the train will come but knowing nothing will move now.
the driver comes out of his carriage for the first time. he says something. sounds like he is asking if he should move the train. I see nothing in his reaction. it is as if it never happened.

'you alright mate' shouts another guard up to him from where they are looking under the train trying to figure if the person is alive still.
the driver doesnt respond. just stands there for a moment and says it again.

'should I move the train?'

I dont know what to do here. I feel I should do something, feel like I walked into this for a reason. I have no idea why I am thinking this.
I look around. there is nothing to be done here. this is just the scene of a suicide.
I step back onto the escalator and ride it up to the top.
look at my hands. not shaking yet.
check myself. my emotions. I am cold. there is a cold feeling in my backbone.
I keep thinking about the soul. the spirit. the dead.
where do we go? what happens out there? where is that person? one minute here the next minute gone.

as I climb the escalator I think to myself, this is what they looked at, their last walk knowing that they were going to die down there on the tracks. I try to take it in. looking for something, I am not sure what.
I step out through the ticket gates, people coming in to the station. the guards stopping them. telling them the trains wont be going tonight.
people excited, see it in the eyes. we havent changed since Roman times.

'Are they dead mate?' a guy asks me , his eyes wide. I just walk past him. stupid hunger in him I dont want to honour with response right now.

I step up the last set of escalators that take me to the street. into Kings Cross. the living hell, and as I do I spot the posters on either side of the walls. it makes me angry in ways I cant explain to see them. about ICE and the deadly effects. people scratching sores on the skin, bodies in hospital wards. all with the eyes, clear and dilated, big and scared. Pictures designed to shock, to fuck with your head. I realise this person walked past all this. in the lowest state of their life, to see the eyes in the posters, adverts created by some misguided idiots, where is the fucking love? You dont need this when you are whacked out on drugs, you need the opposite to recover! they are postering hell with pictures of HELL as if that is going to make some ICE head feel like giving it up! all its going to do is make them want to kill themselves. fucking idiots. this is the world we live in. full of fucking idiots. I am angry. its my reaction, finally starting to surface. As I walk into the street to the throng of lights and drunks and druggies and the night time madness and beauty that is Kings Cross, that is the human world we live in today all over this planet. I want to scream at the top of my fucking lungs


I know then I am not going to do well tonight. I really actually didnt need this at all right now. I see the ambulance arrive. makes me wonder how the hell they clean these things up. Trains wont be running for a long while that is for sure.
I wonder who it was. didnt even know if it was a male or a female, a boy or a girl, a crack head or a suit lost out on the stock market. Why did I walk into this tonight?

I catch a bus back to bondi. people talking about it on there.
I feel low. the drop. it is coming now.
not good. I need to talk to someone.

I buy some candles from the store. I want to light something to dispel the ghosts that are hanging round me now. Its late I am not sure who to ring. I open my email. message from my recently ex-beau. she is back in town and asking if I want to meet up tomorrow. I need something. I email her. mention my night. then give it five minutes and ring. she doesnt answer. I see a mail come in a little later.

'sorry too tired to ring. speak tomorrow'.

that figures.

I lay on my bed. after her reaction I dont any longer feel like talking to anyone. It isnt something you can really share. Just brings people down into the fear and leaves them there wanting to be somewhere else.

I look at the dancing shadows from my candle. its on my altar where I keep the things that connect me to the otherside. to my own journey, to my own time after this life. things we become aware of as the days go by and death kisses our skin once or twice. you learn. but tonight. that was in my face. I was right by it. I felt it. felt the explosion of the body in my ears, and the end of a life. I can feel it now as I write.
I lie there. looking into those shadows. feeling real fucking raw. life to death. death to life. the cycle. the awareness when it comes. the pain of that. the void. the void gives us nothing back when we stare into it. I stop staring. start to breathe again. each breathe in like the first I ever took, each breathe out, like the last I will ever take. its all in there. just between the breathes. our whole story.

I just breathe
and lie there
letting the feelings bubble up and release out my throat as small sobs.
there is nothing else I can do but let it out right now
each sound a prayer for the lost and the dying on this crazy planet
for the ghosts and the departed
and those who are afraid
and alone
and dont know who they are

tough days these are. jesus so fucking tough.
I am here still
I am here
there must be worth in that.
though sometimes it makes so little sense
I know it is ok
if we just keep breathing
and wishing the darkness into light

I put on Telepopmusik - Just Breathe and let it repeat play until I fall asleep.

"If you're frightened of dying and then you hold on
You'll see devils tearing your life away
But, if you've made your peace
Then the devils are really angels
Freeing you from the Earth..."


Samantha said...

I used to do the injury and hazard statistics for new south wales railways.

Kids play chicken by sticking their heads up through the tracks on bridges and duck them down at the last minute.

Mark Berry said...

how come women dont jump infront of trains. other than it is a stupid thing to do obviously. its always men doing the suicides.

things you do for kicks when you are a kid. makes sense back then.

Samantha said...

doesn't look good dude
loud bang
makes mess
girls are pills and cliffs, I think,
and dramatic slashes

Mark Berry. said...

pills and cliffs
yea now you mention it I used to live near Avon gorge bridge in Bristol and they were alwasy jumping off that and aiming for the rocks not the road or the river.
one guy even got a lift off a truck driver from the north of england with his dog. when they got to the bridge he got out and jumped off with the dog.
bizarre. I think these people are put on earth to give us the shits and stop us misbehaving. I used to walk over that bridge and wonder about it.
got to stop thinking about death now. find a happy place...AAAARRGGGH! wheres me vodka.

Samantha said...

but i haven't told you about the Gateway Bridge in Brisbane yet!

The people who jump off the top have to drive up and of course, its habit, they lock the car and put their keys in their pocket. So then they have to get a locksmith out so they can move the car.

I used to cut out all the interesting death articles in the newspapers when I was a teenager.