SKETCHES OF SYDNEY

A Rough Morning

June 8, 2011

The ambulance was pulled up on the curb. Lights flashing, sirens silent. It was 8.00 am. I was walking to the train station on the way to work.

There was no commotion. There was none of the yelling or screaming that you associate with violence. Maybe someone elderly had an accident: a slip in the shower, or a heart attack.

I craned my neck over the slate wall that hid the building’s forecourt from the street. A man sat on the curving ramp that led into the foyer, topless. An ambo was wrapping a bandage around his shoulder. Blood seeped through the white bandage, turning it pink.

I glimpsed a second man, lying in the middle of the driveway that ran behind the wall, curled up in a foetal position. No one was attending to him.

There were a few police on the scene, no cars though. It was a short walk from the local police station to the Potts Point apartment block.

A suited detective checked the police tape pulled across the driveway and tightened it: securing the scene.

It couldn’t have been a car accident. A car couldn’t find enough speed to mow down one man and injure another in such a confined space.

Waiting for my train, I texted a friend who lived in the building. He called back, but had no idea what I was talking about. He was already at work.

In the office, I switched on my computer. There was no mention of the incident on Sydney news websites. Instead there were stories about Pink’s pregnancy and Masterchef meltdowns.

Through the day, my thoughts drifted back to the body on the driveway. Nobody was looking to him – as if there was nothing that could be done. Had I seen the first dead body of my life, that morning on the way to work?

Late in the day I got a text from my friend. It had been a knife fight, he said. A knife fight at eight in the morning seemed absurd, not an explanation. A man bled to death, like a stuck pig, in front of a luxury apartment block on a mundane Friday morning?

On the way home, I walked behind the slate wall, along the driveway and looked at the cobblestones. There were dark splotches and smears: spilt car oil, not blood.

I wondered if the incident had disturbed me too much. Or whether it hadn’t worried me enough.

Chris Ryan



MORE


Comments (2)

 

  1. Scarlett says:

    Lovely story. Sad.

Leave a Reply



MORE SKETCHES OF SYDNEY


Pubs

A Piss Up in a Brewery

A Piss Up in a Brewery

Sydney Outsider’s Tom Collins gets on the sauce at the source.

No Comments




Animals

A Dog's Life

A Dog’s Life

On a narrow street in Newtown a giant dog towers above the traffic. Passers-by double take at the massive sculpture. Cars slow down as they pass the trailer it sits on, and come to a stop as drivers stare.

No Comments




History

Sydney's Footpath of Fame

Sydney’s Footpath of Fame

If you’ve wasted money visiting Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in LA, it will sting you to find out you could have had the same thrill closer to home.

No Comments




People

Goodbye Oxford Tavern

Goodbye Oxford Tavern

We speak to Lyndal Irons about her photographic exhibition documenting the final days of Petersham’s iconic Oxford Tavern.

No Comments




Music

Bludging Busker is One of the Best

Bludging Busker is One of the Best

Joseph has the Wednesday evening commuters bouncing to a reggae beat.

No Comments




Ali Kaneet

Scruffy's is the Schnit

Scruffy’s is the Schnit

Scruffy Murphy’s is more associated with glassings than gastronomy. As a serious foodie who eats at least three times a day, I’m a little nervous about what the chef will plate up.

1 Comment




History

Sydney's Missing Islands

Sydney’s Missing Islands

Three of our islands exist only in name because they have been sold by mysterious debtors. We demand to know: Where are our islands? And who got the money?

1 Comment




Art

The Painted Lady

The Painted Lady

A French-born artist’s twenty year devotion to his work has turned a patch of graffiti into a Sydney landmark.

1 Comment




History

A Lion Among Cats

A Lion Among Cats

A statue and two plaques commemorate the life of an explorer’s much-loved feline friend, but gloss over his grisly end.

No Comments




Animals

Statue Rubbed Up the Wrong Way

Statue Rubbed Up the Wrong Way

A tribute to two Sydney surgeons has been molested by people who can’t understand the simple instruction, “Rub my nose.”

2 Comments





Copyright © 2015 Sydney Outsider. All Rights Reserved