Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Fragility of Life

I was on a tram yesterday, heading out to The Orange Cinema, that great lakeside viewing experience, to watch a film about getting old (The Quartet). It's especially lovely on a warm sunny evening, which it was.

Suddenly, the tram bell rings, brakes are applied hard and there's a thud. A woman is whirling past the window I'm sitting next to. I see her fall to the ground; the back of her head hitting the ground hard.

There is no movement.

A feeling of helplessness, tempered by the knowlege that at least 50% of the Swiss on the tram will be trained in first aid. They spring into action but there is ├ón obvious reluctance to move her at all.

I get off the tram, I'm right by the front. There is a bicycle lying under the front of the tram. It looks like the woman decided to sneak in front of the tram at the tram stop, probably didn't hear it and didn't look. She wasn't wearing a helmet either.

I decide that I cannot do anything, and that staring is pointless. I leave and complete my journey on foot but I find I keep wondering if that was the right thing to do. I wonder if she lived, or what her injuries were. As I got out of the tram, I noticed her face had changed colour to a sort of bluey redness. It's not exactly haunting me but I do keep looking in the local newspaper sights to see what's been reported. Nothing yet, other than a few other accidents involving trams, trains, trucks where people will never complete their journey.

Many other relatives and friends whose lives have changed in an instant.


  1. Oh my. Is there any updates on this?

  2. Hi, Sorry I didn't see the comment! Heard via my girlfriend's German teacher that the woman lived, but has severe head injuries. Very sad.