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Finding death that smelt of flowers.

Post by: kasio99

Saturday, 14 December, 2013

Remember when you were a kid? We were blessed with small things that we now take for granted. Like my first push bike that expanded my world for miles around me, past the milk bar and the local laneway, where my friends and I had lit fires and tried our first cigarette. One of our friends moved away, only a couple of blocks, though far enough for a friendship to drift.

One sunny saturday afternoon we ventured on our bikes to our friends new home.  We rode through the back streets. We never took the main roads, they were boring and predictable. We especially liked the laneways.  We were young but we knew about things, things that main streets didn’t allow us to see. Laneways had empty bottles of alcohol, homemade bongs, abandoned cars and graffiti. We liked seeing these things because we thought we were hard.  We thought that we were street smart, though nothing prepared us for what we saw that day.

While riding slowly through the final laneway that would spit us out close to our destination we stumbled across a man, laying there, slumped up against a rear entrance garage door; motionless. He had an unkept beard and hair that resembled a lions mane.  His blue overalls and white runners showed signs of years of hard work, renovating the home he lay beside. Staring at him a friend and I were frozen with not a thought in our minds.  I remember vividly from that moment the pungent smell of flowers.

After standing there for just a second we did what anyone else at that age would do.  We got the hell out of there. Our friends place was just around the corner. We flew into the front yard throwing our bikes on the lawn, ran up the front porch and began banging on the door.  Our friend answered the door but as if he wasn’t there we pushed past him yelling “THERE’S A DEAD GUY IN THE LANE!”. We repeated this while our friends mother tried to calm us down.

Once we had explained ourselves, our friends mum calmly strolled down the laneway to see if she could offer some assistance, with us cowardly tucked behind her. Just as the man was within vision a woman ran out from the home holding the house phone.  She knelt down next to the guy, who I imagine was her partner, and began shaking him and screaming like I’ve never heard before “Wake up! Please wake up!”. Everything went so quickly after that: the ambulance, the police and finally the coroner.

To this day I’ve never gone down that laneway, though I’ve walked past a few times and it still has the distinct pungent smell of flowers.  Now every time I smell flowers it reminds me of the day a friend and I found death.

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