July 4th, 2003


The Day of Murder.

where to begin?

yesterday, in westfield shopping centre, one guy was found tossed off the edge of the car park, and another leapt from the fifth floor, landing with a sickening crunch in front of the ice cream stand on level two. fortunately for me, i saw neither, but the truth of it is, i arrived some five minutes after it happened and the whole thing swirled around me like for the entire day, at one point ensuring that the cops took an extra look at my car. why my car?

because i parked next to the murder car, people. two spots. on the channel nine news the other night, a helicopter shot of the scene ensured that the viewing public saw the two red hatchbacks on the edge of the parking lot, linked by the camera. it was my car's five minutes of fame, which was more like three seconds.

but, lets back track. to the beginning. my arrival.

i parked my car, got out, and a pair of teenage boys appeared out of a stairwell, pointing over the ledge, looking at me, then back over the ledge. they wanted to tell me something, and i figured that two people were having sex down there. happens all the time. most of them school girls and boys. feeling kind of dismissive, i glance at the boys, and they decide that whatever it is that is there, they don't want to tell me about it.

had i walked over, i would have seen body number one. but i didn't. and the teenagers, who were looking for an adult, searching for some kind of adult to tell them what to do, decided that i was not the kind of adult you report dead bodies too. make of that what you will.

oblivious, i walked into westfield, and, outside HMV, spotted a crowd looking down to level 2. (this is on level five.) a security guard was screaming out that people shouldn't look, that there was nothing to see, which obviously meant that there was.

so i looked.

towels, broken glass, and a curtain place around them. nothing of interest. the security guard yelled politely at me, but i was already going.

down on level two, i discovered that the curtain was in front of an ice cream parlour. there white towels tainted brown and glass, like someone had dropped a tank or something, and because there were no police, and because people were lined up the buy ice cream, i figured that someone had dropped fish. i mean, it's not unreasonable? what kind of sick society exists within westfield where a man leaps to his death, and the store in which it happens out front continues to sell ice cream? and what is worse, what kind of people go and buy the ice cream?

well, the answer to the first one was given to me in the bookstore by a lovely young clerk who told me that yes, someone did jump, and no, it wasn't fish: 'rent's expensive in westfield's. you can't afford to lose a days income.'

i'll let you all figure out the answer to the second one.

after this, i returned to my car, to find that police had cut the area off and would no, under any circumstance, return to my car. 'it's a serious matter,' one cop said.

'related to the guy who jumped?'

he nodded.

so, my car was a material witness for four hours. i like to think it was grilled, and asked the important questions: do you know where saddam is? are you on his oil? sniff--is that sugar i smell? but perhaps not. it may have cracked under such questioning, as i certainly cracked, being stuck for four hours in westfield shopping centre. you know, there's nothing to do for free in those places...

luckily, the ever lovely miss r. was in the library, and i hung out with her, ruining her study, for an hour or so until i felt guilty about doing so and left. but she was a life saver, as it was, because i could have ended up purchasing something i couldn't possibly afford if i'd stayed there. something like a stuffed pink elephant, or a bunch of dvds, or more books.

when i returned to my car, i was directed to the highway cops.

now, it's important to remember that i didn't know that the murder car was next to mine, and that it didn't occur to me that it too was a red hatchback. i didn't know. so when the cop said, 'which is your car?' and i waved in the direction of it and the murder car and said:

'the red hatchback over there.'

that i simply didn't know that this would make the police very interested in me.

it was sorted out quickly, when i quoted the number plate for the not a murderer or suicide's car. however, i did note, that for my entire walk up to the car, the police were watching me very carefully, waiting to see if the big bald guy in black would leap their plastic barrier and make off in the other red hatchback.

but he didn't. he was tired, and wanted to escape westfield.

funnily enough, the most common question people ask me after hearing this, is: did you have to pay for parking?

no, i did not.
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