On Monday at about half-past two, I went to buy my lunchtime sandwich from the Granja Bristol while talking to Gemma on my mobile phone. As I rounded the corner to the cafÃ©â€™s door, I saw a few people standing around looking at a figure collapsed on the side-road where a new car park is currently being constructed.
The man was lying prone in the street, immobile, cheek against the macadam, legs crossed, arms splayed out. Iâ€™d seen this before. A girl fell out of our student flatâ€™s window once when drunk and landed in a similar position. Sheâ€™d survived with a broken arm or something. I saw her doing shots of tequila and vodka a week later in the pub.
So in a way the sight of someone in that position after what was obviously a fall didnâ€™t affect me as much as it did other onlookers. A colleague of mine had seen his body hit the ground, not quite knowing what it was. I was more concerned by his stillness and the fact that a couple of people were close to the body but no one was talking to him. I thought I saw his finger twitch at one point but I may have imagined it. Â I muttered â€œosti!â€ several times as people related the events that had taken place while the blood pooled around the manâ€™s head and flowed gently down the slope towards the river.
The police came and checked his vital signs. â€œNo pulseâ€, one cop said before heading back to his car for one of those thin, metallic plastic sheets they use to keep athletes warm after a marathon or to cover up dead bodies.
â€œFrancisco R.R.â€, as the local news named him, was 34 years old and a Sabadell resident. The reason for his suicide remains unknown though he had been at his girlfriendâ€™s flat and I suppose there must have been some argument between them. The owner of the cafÃ© told me that Francisco was â€˜a bit fucked upâ€™ and suggested that he was a junkie. The street had been cleaned by that evening.