Saturday, October 14, 2006

one less in the world

My neighbour died last night. He'd propped a ladder against the fence so he could climb the loquet tree to pick some fruit, when he leaned too far over and fell out, landing headfirst on my driveway.

Just like that.

It's just so incredibly sad. Sadder still is that his wife found him when, after hearing groans coming from behind the fence, she ventured up to my carport. God only knows how long he'd been there. Usually I'm home on a Friday afternoon, so would have seen him and got help for him sooner, but yesterday I was gone by 4.45pm. He was alive when I came home at 6.45 and found him there, his son cradling his broken body against his own, and he was alive when they put him in the ambulance and took him to the hospital.

He must have been dying the whole time because now all that's left of him is a blood stain in my driveway.

We lived next door to each other for eighteen years but I never knew his name. He barely spoke English and before that stupid dog came along, would often show up on my doorstep proferring a bag of fruit or a fragrant flower picked from his backyard, nodding his head in greeting and saying something quite indecipherable. I always nodded back and thanked him. He stopped coming around after I yelled over the fence to shut the dog up, and I bet he never knew how much I missed those visits. I never had a problem with him, only his dog, but I gathered his allegiance to that stupid dog meant he had a problem with me. That made me sad before, and for some reason, it makes me sadder now.

I'd listen to that fucking thing willingly for the rest of forever if it meant my neighbour would be back in his garden tomorrow.

I'm going to miss him.

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