a death in the morning

In the early morning sunlight, as we near the plaza in the financial district, we see a crowd gathered.  There, in shadow, lies a mangled body on the concrete.  The authorities have not yet covered the corpse with a tarp or sheet.  We recognize the tall, dark, still athletic body of the deceased.  When younger, he could do amazing things with a basketball on the court. He always gave upbeat, positive and articulate interviews.  In recent years, he spoke of freedom.

The poignant question that comes into some of our minds is:  Did he jump or was he thrown from a window many stories above the ground?  The surrounding office towers cast large, gloomy shadows on the plaza.

The State also speaks of freedom – the freedom to be experienced, to be found through obedience, in conformity, in being a good “comrade”.

The State closed the churches and the temples one year ago.  For some, these had given a little hope, a little comfort.  The State did not want citizens to be invoking a higher authority in any matters, large or small.

I glance around at the assembled crowd in this formerly very tolerant, liberal and “progressive’ city.  Expressionless faces.  But, there is an exception.  One finely dressed young woman in an elegant business suit has tears on her face.  She quickly turns and walks away.

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