Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday Night - Suicide or Murder?

Just finished watching The Riches. Ho-hum. Cold is still there but I feel much, much better. B. is doing better also. He's got today and tomorrow off from work.

This morning, when I exited the front of the building on my way to the bus stop, there were two "Crime Scene" vans parked in (and blocking) the driveway leading out of the parking garage. Crime Scene people were milling about, along with the president of the condominium association. I spotted some police tape by the fire escape, at the base of which one the Crime Scene ladies was peering beneath what looked like a rumpled plastic sheet.

My first thought was that a pedestrian had been killed by one of the condominium residents tearing out of the parking garage on her way to work. The driveway parallels a sidewalk along Biscayne, where there's a bus stop, and sometimes people waiting for the bus stand in or along the driveway, or people getting off a bus take a short cut across the driveway heading west. In any case, the driveway is an extremely dangerous place to be, and I've often thought the building should post signs there warning people of the danger of trespassing. (Then I thought, if you put a sign there, the kids will take it as a challenge and start playing chicken in the driveway.)

Finally I asked the condo association president what was going on, and he said someone had committed suicide by jumping from the building. B. later learned by the grapevine (however reliable that is) that one of the residents had been depressed and had jumped from his window, after telling his wife and his psychiatrist that he wanted to commit suicide. (That was after we heard by the grapevine that the guy had been pushed out the window, which didn't seem plausible, but then you never know.)

Living in a tall building is like having a gun. If life becomes unbearable, ending it all can be a snap. With the ease of pulling the trigger of a pistol, you can jump off the balcony or out the window. (In The Hotel New Hampshire, John Irving tells us to "keep passing the open windows.") I've been depressed before. That's why I don't have a gun and live one floor up from (and facing) the pool deck. If I jump out a window, I might break something but that's about it. Meanwhile I can be working in the kitchen and still be able to enjoy the palms swaying outside on the deck, not to mention the never-ending parade of half-naked bodies in and around the pool.

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