Tuesday, November 05, 2013

A moment of inattention

Yesterday on the Place de la Victoire at 4.15 pm. The sky threatens more rain. A moment's hesitation: walk home or take the tram? Walk. A few seconds later a scream. A young woman's scream. I turn back. The tram is stopped. A man runs towards it. I gawp from a distance, knowing that something dreadful has happened. The contrast between that knowledge and the sight of passengers streaming from the now-open doors of the tram, swarming across the tracks, already finding alternative ways to their destinations. A few crouch down to look underneath the tram. I start out again for home, eavesdropping on a woman's telephone conversation. "J'ai juste vu ses jambes. Elle était coincée sous le tram." The sound of sirens coming from several directions.
The young woman was killed. How could it have been otherwise?
I'm writing this down here simply because I want to let go of the memory of it.

5 comments:

Lucy said...

Oh gosh, how shocking. These things must send out so many ripples, in one of which you were caught.

This is very good writing about something very bad. I hope it helps.

Heather said...

That is very affecting. I just wanted you to know it had been read

materfamilias said...

Oh Lesley, how horrible, how very sad. Take care.

auntiegwen said...

Lordy, lordy, yesterday I was told of a very similar tragedy, just awful sin't it? Hope you can get it out of your head xx

Lesley said...

Thank you all. It turns out that the poor girl was actually a student in a Masters course at my university, which seems to make it worse somehow.