I still see you, most mornings, some nights, late in those dark hours before the dawn. I wake suddenly disturbed, anxious and there you are as you were. The orange jacket that caught my eye, that flash from nowhere streaking past. Your long dark hair flying through the wind whipping about your head, a canvas bag swinging off your still able body. Then there's the noise just as sudden and just as shocking and ringing in my ears as I think about it.
I pass by your memorial nearly every day; I can't forget you- not at all. The gaudy tinsel coiled around the wheels, the cellophane protected photos of happier times, the wilting flowers and fading cards, I see them in my dreams now. The first time I saw it I gasped out loud. I was drawn to it completely for an instant my life had its own soundtrack. If that moment had been a horror film that would have been the moment the audience shrieks, the women hide behind their hands and the men grip their partners arm, digging their fingernails into the flesh. But that was the first time, now you are a part of me. Sometimes I am engrossed in a paper or book and miss you, but not often. An inner sat nav jerks my head and I glance out of the window just in time and there you are and there it is. Sometimes I even crane my neck and turn back in search of you, to pay my respects over and over again.
You have become my commuter companion and I never even knew your name. I never alight and go closer to read about you, that would be too invasive. No, witnessing your terror and pain and hearing those gut wrenching screams is already too much.
A friend stopped by, read it all, told me about you, he said you were called Bill Tate, I'm so sorry Bill Tate, so sorry for that terrible day. I didn't see enough to make a difference where it mattered but the memory of that moment has already made a difference in me.
6 October 2012
Julie Balloo's web: