Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sunday I drove down the Westside Highway to the UWS. It was about 1PM, too early for the traffic jams created by people returning to the City from weekends away, but traffic was backed up, overflowing down the on-ramp. I thought it would clear up after the freeway merger near the George Washington Bridge. But that didn't happen. I switched into the slow lane, where I could easily exit if the traffic became still worse. From my vantage point in the right lane I had a good view of the river. At the speed I was going, I decided not to fret and to enjoy the view over the river and the spring flowers spreading along its banks. The traffic continued stop and go until just past 96th St., when I noticed five or six cars parked along the runner's path, where cars normally are restriced Two were cop cars, the others brown sedans. A little further down the path a group of men stood in a group. At their feet lay a mint green bag, about six feet long and obviously not empty: the telltale swelling at one end tapering down to a smaller bump at the other end betrayed what lay inside. Someone had died, or been found dead, along the river, and very recently. The men stood almostly leisurely above the body bag. No sirens blared. No lights flashed. There was no hurry now. The men could take their time. Some images will stay in my mind for a very long time. This is one of them.