The day before yesterday, or the one before or after that, there was a shout in the court. A startling scream as of somebody suddenly afflicted by an immense flood of pain. Nociception. I, for one, was startled. Somebody in the middle of the day screaming loudly. In the court it seemed like. The court?
The court is delimited by the back of our row of houses, by the backside of the opposite hotel and by the business-distal side of two commercial-type blocks, one fronting the Sempacher park, the other fronting the city’s tiny main lane. It’s a tiny “court” only used for parking, garbage disposal and hyperv-ing through a quick cig break. I think it still can technically be called a court according to one of “court”‘s many, many definitions: “a quadrangular area surrounded by a building or group of buildings” [quadrangular, what a damn lovely word]. Of course there exist definitions of court that in this context would not make any sense at all.
Though the shout was stunningly loud and agonized, I only so much as flinched but did not budge. Budge as in standing up from the table and laptop, turning around, traversing living room, lounge and kitchen to have a quick look to see if someone was actually hurt or, possibly, as suggested per audio, dying. Why? Why didn’t I? Is this the whole spiel about responsibility dispersion in any mid-sized provincial bird’s nest? Subjectively that was not the reason, subjectively consciously that was not it.
Stentorian also would be a good word for incredibly loud and powerful as relating to a person’s voice. I might use this word in the future. But the future is not now yet, is it? Is it here now? Or now now? You get the idea.
The scream was not sustained nor did it carry over into wailing thus the person had indeed perished instantaneously or had yelled rather than screamed due to some other, non-lethal reason. Yelling to me is obnoxiously willful. It could have been rage. It could have been frustration. It could have been a sort of pointless and irritating hoax. I could have gone on guessing till kingdom came but neither did I nor it. An imbecile in the court: Hahaha, I’m dying, hehe, no I’m not. Hilarious.
Considering these possibilities, weighing them against the weight holding me down on the chair, I found out the latter was the gravitationally bigger force.
Later I learned somebody indeed had died inside the court, our court. The quadrangular area. She had been struck down by a falling piece of metal [thus the scream] but then was paralyzed or something and just lay there bleeding to death. To bleed to death. Imagine. I understand it took some time for her to die. She was about ten years my junior. She was born when I was in fourth primary, maybe as I was sitting in sunny Sarajevo, enjoying an ice cream. And she died as I sat in the living room, reading Amis and maybe stinking up the place. Things happened in what is evidently a completely unrelated way. As far as I can tell this is the way of the world.
Despite or given all the angles on this incident I do not feel personally responsible for this person’s death. As I shouldn’t. The fact that I passed time with my circuitous considerations rather than dashing to the balcony and having a look in itself suggests a case of supremely bad luck. Bad luck, fate, fatum, coitus hyper [f-ed up].
Also, like the Vikings, I hope not to meet such a fate myself. To be struck dead from on high: what a fearsome scenario!
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