My plan to avoid the weekly countdown, the terrible events of that morning, were scuppered yesterday. I did the early to work thing, avoiding the raging ‘real time’ weekly tweets. Firmly focusing on cracking a few (more) candycrush levels on the bus. I walked a different way to the office.
Got through the work stuff. Went home. Rich was at Warwick. Tom in the park playing football with his mates. I hunkered down with Bess and Chunky Stan. Thinking time. Space to cry.
Then a sickening noise. My (defunct) health and safety mechanism instantly re-engaged. Outside a crowd. Several people on their phones. A motorbike lying in the road. A shattered looking person moving their car off the road. A sense of collective doing and being. Such a contrast to what happened to LB. Locked away from social life. Cut off from goodwill and sense.
Various emergency vehicles pitched up. The sirens. Those fucking sirens. On our doorstep.
I gave in to irrational nerves after about 25 minutes and wandered across to the park to check on the footballing boys.
They were sauntering back home. Past the cavalcade of flashing vehicles carving out a recovery space for motorbike guy. On the London Road.
He was being lifted into some seated stretcher thing. Chattering to the paramedics. The crowd still clustered collectively around the police. There was an atmosphere of cheer. People sharing their recollections, their evidence. Their input into an episode of sensational everyday life. Motorbike guy was seemingly ok-ish. Alive. (My new bar).
‘You got any homework, Tom?’, I asked.