Return to the crime scene
FRIDAY, January 1, 2010 – In front of the house, three young men are loudly saying goodbye to each other. Apparently they’ve spent the first seven hours of the new year in a state of extreme inebriation. One of them proclaims loudly that he’s ready for a good fuck. Typical macho blowhards.
I’m one of the poor souls who are not on their way home, but is up early in order to take the dog out and, to her horror, the sound of fireworks continues unabated even if off in the distance. Just after seven o’clock taxis are snagging their last and most lucrative customers. A fire engine races past with wailing sirens and flashing lights. It’s approaching the intersection where our life came to a standstill, above all, Jennifer’s.
The fire engine went through red – which it’s allowed to do – and in a split second I’m back to that moment when Jennifer, after duly waiting for the light to turn, quite unsuspectingly crossed the street. That motorcycle cop went through red, and without warning. I wasn’t there, the children were, but I can still vividly see the accident happening as it did, down to the last detail.
I often cross at the ‘scene of the crime’, and each time a shiver runs down my spine as I leave a footprint behind on the very spot where Jennifer’s head made contact with the asphalt. No wonder Eamonn won’t go anywhere near it and Sander still refuses to cross the street. Reaching the park, I enjoy the last rays of a blue moon, that is, the second full moon in a calendar month.
Sander doesn’t regard the first of January as a totally new start. Rather, it is the conclusion of a rotten year, as he had explained shortly after the big bang at midnight. Eamonn nodded in agreement. He was wide awake, eager to keep celebrating; but, I was exhausted and shortly before 1 a.m. we headed upstairs.
Eamonn was already in my bed. Sander just confessed that the fireworks made him nervous, so we dragged his mattress into my room and the three of us snored our way into the new year: 2010. Am I justified in calling this a precious memory? Before turning off the light, I made them a promise: we’re going to make up for all the parties we missed last year.