Friday, August 31, 2012

He Fell From a Czech Window

He fell from a window in Prague way down onto the Czech cobblestones below.

The Czech people didn’t know if he fell by accident, was pushed or jumped out of his own accord.  Regardless, his body lay dismembered all over the ground below and onlookers from the surrounding buildings gathered at their windows and watched as his many pieces were gathered by the Czech authorities.  The man had, apparently, become unusually severed upon impact.

Somehow he had not splattered, like, say, a chicken or dog might have; but rather had split into fragments.  Not like anything brittle, though; the breaks were not clean, the fragments not completely separate, for he had been pulled and yanked apart when he had hit the ground.  Some of the parts were still connected by various organic threads and lines, in some places just by patchy trails of torn skin and blood.  One could, however, still make out a man down there on the street.  Albeit a broken one.

The characters picking up the pieces did so with expressions of cold indifference, gazing occasionally at the faces in the windows as if to reproach them for some immoral curiosity.  What are you people looking at?  There’s nothing to see here.  Go back inside; this is our business now, not yours.  As they continued to impassively gather the man up.

The man who fell, however, of course felt nothing about all this, for no longer was he anything at all.  In a linguistic sense, anyhow.  In other senses he is likely many things, part of the bigger one thing.  Words begin to streak at this point.

An investigation into the fall was already underway, though it made no real difference.  The man was dead.  No one knew the details of the incident and nothing anyone knew of could bring him back.  Not much, if anything at all, could as yet be said about dying in general, either, so the whole thing was, practically speaking, infinitely mysterious.  This kind of mystery is not uncommon, but this does not unjustify the Czech peoples’ curiosity into the enigma.  It was not just their curiosity, anyhow.

The main piece of evidence, if one can deem it such, was an etching done by the man on the windowsill.  It was presumably written the night of the fall and read: ‘I’ll miss you, man.’  This was all anyone could find regarding his final sentiments, which in any case seemed unusual in the context of his life.  For those whose responsibility lay in investigating his death, this made absolutely no difference at all.  Perhaps it was something they could tell his family and friends, when they asked how their son/brother/sister/friend was before he died.  Something to provide some explanation, despite it being no explanation at all.

I’ll miss you, man.  And the world flies away.

It was three stories that he fell—though only one story came of it.  No one saw what happened, but there seemed to be no lack of witnesses who could testify to the disturbing sound of the body falling and hitting the ground.  A beer can fell first, its tinny crash attracting little attention; this was followed by a few split seconds of humming, followed then by a large, bone-crunching thud.

And that was that.

His friends could no more explain the incident than himself, for they sat sleeping that night in sodden, green haze while he stayed conscious, alone; the night had been good-natured, they’d said­—­­no one was to blame for anything.  ‘Blame’, they said defensively to their interrogators, did not apply here.

But why did he fall? the authorities consistently replied.  For what reason?

The many pieces that once comprised the entire being were transported to a Czech police station, where examinations were underway in order to determine exactly how he landed and thus the ‘cause’ of the fatality.  This is where, apparently, the latter was to be found­: that is, in determining the angle at which the body hit the cobblestones, the points most effected.  Here the notion of cause becomes like a piece of paper, folded over and over and over; when they can fold no more, the cause is found.

It became apparent to these investigators that the legs had been first, snapping and then compacting into the body.  From there, parts simply became crushed and mashed and strewn, leaving an inelegant scene for Czech walkers and their rather sedated Czech canine acquaintances. 

All on a fresh Czech morning, this occurred; the early hours, when the sky was just becoming light.  

Just as the people emerged from their caves, to begin a brand new Czech day.

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