As I walked on to the crash scene, the body bag was being wheeled out of the garage.
“Why did they take the body inside?”
Seconds later, it hit me.
“oh s–t… he went through.”
Witnesses at the scene saw a 20-something male come blasting down Herman Avenue on a little Honda motorcycle. He was running wide open.
He didn’t let up as he turned and crossed the parking lot.
He didn’t let up as he took aim at the concrete wall.
He didn’t let up.
Investigators later found a suicide note at the man’s home.
When he jumped on that bike and started to ride, it was quitting time on a sunny Friday afternoon.
It was the time of year when azaleas shake off the shackles of winter and burst into bloom, spreading an explosion of color across the city like wildfire on the wind.
It was the time of year when wisps of pollen dance in the sunlight before settling like a blanket across the hoods of cars.
The days when pale winter skin feels the first touches of the summer sun.
And when the weather is just right for a long afternoon drive.
I wonder if he noticed.
Back in the newsroom, my editor tells me we don’t write about suicides. We won’t publish the man’s name. We won’t talk to his family. The photos are taking it a step too far. If no one else was hurt, we write a brief, we move on.
And I will. Except for one thing.
With the economy in shambles, the industry dying, the stress rising and money tight, I didn’t really notice the azaleas this spring. Then after a week of heavy rain, and a couple of cold nights, they were gone.
Next time, I’ll remember to slow down and look.