Urban Stories: "Suicidal"

Few times in someone’s life will that person be able to say that there are scenes in their daily routines that shocked them in such a particular way that it will remain their mind somehow.

I witnessed one event that it will be in my memory for long time. As I was going to town to meet some friends, I drove my car through one of the many bridges in London, Southwark bridge to be precise. It doesn’t have the buzzy feeling that London Bridge or other more crowded crossings have in the Capital. Therefore, an empty pavement didn’t get much of my attention as I approached the traffic lights at the entrance of the bridge from the south part of it. Then, I noticed the police cars and vans parked by the side of the cycle lane and my view extended to beyond those static images and onto the far end of the pavement where I also saw more policemen. My curiosity was a its peak, not being aware that what I was to see could have such an impact.

As I was half way through the bridge, I realised that two policemen were leaning forward over the bridge barrister as if they were talking to someone. As I got closer, I confirmed what I thought and I noticed the third person, seated, ready to jump.

A sudden shiver was noticeable in my spine. The ideas, the reasons, the rage, the loss of faith, the anxiety, the doubts, the decision, the bravery..all kind of thoughts and feelings that someone must go through before you decide to step over a bridge and sit there, looking down to the flow of water that acts as a soft mattress from the distance but it would turned into a hard killing surface on contact.

Suicide is seen by many as an act of coward, as a decision to give up. There, looking at someone about to do, many things went through my head, but not a feeling of coward behaviour. If any, incomprehension by those who happen to have a life where crisis are assimilated and life, though hard, seems bearable to a point.

Today, I can’t help seeing that image of the man with a black top being told not to do it, trying to work out how he did get there, why life pushed him to that point.

It’s all in my head, of course, but the question remains for me.

What happened to the man on the bridge?


Urban Stories: "Ho ho ho…bloody christmas again!

According to tradition, Christmas is a season to celebrate. We get together, we give presents and we meet the family. It’s a religious and a social event for many people. In many countries around the world, the season is more than just a jubilee time but a deserved holiday. From early December, or late November in some cases -especially if light displays are particularly detailed in their decoration-, many cities in Europe will work hard to provide with the perfect background for a nice festive time in the year.

Of course, all of that is not the same in the United Kingdom, or I guess I’d rather say in London. Sad as I am to notify of the already few Christmas parties enquiries signs that I have seen in the capital and its suburbs. There is something really annoying in the fact that restaurants are already offering the chance to book a Christmas party as it was the last thing we need to do, just in case we pass away, I suppose.

Not that the catering business is alone in the purpose to ruin any attempt to keep Christmas as a party that is meant to be with some kind of meaning; no, the retailing sector is also embarked in this stupid obsession to bring the Nativity forward, like a premature birth.

Selfridges among others have already opened their Christma Shop. How awful that is!!

Still, I intend to resist to the silly signs that proclaim the Christmas Present Hunting is already on. I don’t give a damn s***!!

To my belief, Christmas is still long away for me to worry.

Urban Stories: "Rubbish!!"

What would you do if you have an already drunk can of soft drink, a used napkin and a plastic container with some remaining of the mayo of my Tesco chicken bacon salad and you happen to be out and about?

I guess the logical answer should be: ‘just dispose of them, you silly twat!‘.

Yes, I would normally agree with that, but l didn’t mention that I was near Victoria station in central London and the aim and the result you get are both very different.

Besides, I was travelling by bus. So my first impulse was to dump everything next to the Daily Telegraph already on the seat so it won’t be so alone in the already dirty bus. But after thinking carefully what to do, I decided to be a good civilised citizen and take the rubbish with me to dispose of it as soon as I got off the bus.

So when I got to my bus stop in order to take my second bus for the transfer, I looked around trying to distinguish a bin among light posts, prohibition signs and bus stops. Nothing, not a single place to get rid of the rubbish. After a few minutes and having missed my second bus -I was distracted in my aim to find a bin in the nearby street-, I hopped on the next bus and I got off a few stops later. Same quest, same result. Nevertheless, I insisted in being an educated person so I endured with my goal and I was pleased to see in the distance, around fifty metres, a solitude bin. So, I went towards it not worrying too much if I missed my next connection, the important task has been then to remove those items from my company. Finally, when I reached the bin, I dropped the can, the plastic container and the paper napkin. YES. I made it.

Perhaps, though, I shouldn’t bother so much trying to be a neat person and just dump anything around me, after all, do the council really worry about it? it doesn’t seem so with the amount of bins available.