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» Anonymous

Remembered a homeless man.
First QOTW post. Be nice.

Crossing over the bridge on my way into town for lunch one grey Tuesday afternoon, I walked past a load of police cars, tape, and a forensics van with people in those white onesies milling around. Getting the horrible scared sinking feeling in my gut, I was too afraid to approach the policemen and women who were standing by the tape. But I knew something bad had happened.

A colleague's girlfriend was working for the police at the time and had access to a police radio, so along with local news and her text updates, we found out that some of the homeless guys I'd seen many times by the river had had a fight, and one had ended up in the river. Another colleague had driven past police, fire and ambulance gathered further down the Wey. Dribs and drabs of news came through, and via the police radio we heard he'd been pulled out and taken to hospital, still alive but not doing well.

On Thursday we found out he'd died the night before. That sick feeling hit me again. I'm not sure why I felt so strongly about it, but I couldn't get it out of my head; feeling so sad, yet simultaneously numb.

Thursday's lunchbreak was horrible; walking past where before, there had been commotion and lots of police, there was now no-one - and nothing to indicate any incident had even happened there.

All I did was buy some flowers and put them on a bench where I'd seen them hanging around before. I didn't know this guy and I didn't know what had happened to cause the fight that lead to his death, but I just wanted something there. Nobody saw me, and there was no point in writing anything as I had nothing to say.

The flowers were gone by lunchtime on Friday. Now there's a sign on the bridge asking for information, as there's a murder enquiry.

I don't know if they did anything, drew anyone's attention or let somebody know that respect was being paid. But something inside me demanded that it had to be done.

(Thu 14th Jan 2010, 12:42, More)