This past Saturday started a little differently than most: a police officer and detective knocking on the door.
Sorry, I should have specified: different than most for us.
They asked to come in, and did. They asked a couple of questions, about whether we noticed anything unusual that morning. I mentioned that I’d heard a strange noise that morning, around 6AM or so, that came from outside. It sounded like a noise on the balcony, like something falling over or maybe a screen door banging, but more of a thump. I didn’t recognize the sound, but I didn’t think much of it. It’s a big concrete balcony, there’s only so much that can happen out there. But the officer’s questions made me wonder whether someone had tried to get into people’s apartment’s by climbing between balconies.
He then asked to check out my balcony. I let him out, and followed him out myself. Inside the detective was explaining to Nellie what had happened, but I had now figured it out too — the officer was leaning over my balcony.
I looked down. There was a tarp on the ground. With a hand sticking out.
Someone had fallen.
The detective asked for our help identifying the person, given a description, but we weren’t much help. When we went downstairs there were at least a dozen police officers in our lobby, questioning everyone who came and went, looking for information. Given the lack of news vans outside we assumed it must have been suicide; by the afternoon the police and cordon were gone, which pretty much confirmed it.
We found out later that someone had jumped from the 36th floor. I’ll never understand suicide. How can things get that desperate? Not to question that they can; I just can’t even fathom being at that point. Even if they do, how does one summon the wherewithal (I can’t bring myself to call it courage) to climb over a 36th-floor balcony?
I hope whoever it was is at peace, and hasn’t left hurt and turmoil in their wake.