Friday, January 3, 2014

January 2, 2014, at approximately 1:40 p.m...

This might be an asshole of a thing to do, but I'm going to do it anyway.  Because I just might be an asshole, and no sense in hiding from facts.

Yesterday I left my home to meet a friend right round 1:38pm.  I remember because I looked at the clock, noticed I was late, and calculated how many minutes I'd have to pick-up in my walk downtown; no time for a relaxed amble.  As I headed up the main street that runs by my home, a parade of emergency vehicles went the other direction.

A parade.

Police.  Ambulance.  Fire.  Multiples of each.

Enough to make me pause at the top of the hill, look back toward the hollow, and think about returning home to make sure everything was OK.  But that's a slippery slope, that kind of behavior.  A person could spend all day checking to see if stuff was left on, plugged in, running, burning, unlocked, etc. and so I kept moving forward.

Later, I saw this tweet:

According to Google, the Vista Bridge is 0.3 miles from my home.

I clicked the link and read:
This afternoon, January 2, 2014, at approximately 1:40 p.m., Central Precinct police officers responded to the report of a male subject shooting himself and falling from the Vista Bridge. Officers are on-scene and attempting to render assistance to the person. The incident is ongoing and information is limited at this time. 
And this is the potentially asshole part.  I don't mean to use someone else's tragedy as a Soap Box for my own message.  Well, I do.  Obviously.  No way around it, that's what's happening here.  But only because if I said only what I wanted to say, I could just use Twitter.  Because all I really want to say is:  Please look out for each other out there.

But if I just tweeted that line, it would just seem like I was fumbling a quote from Hill Street Blues.

To say what I want to say, and have it carry some degree of heft, I need some context.  And the quickest way to get that is to use the actual one.

For the record, I didn't read that tweet from Portland Police and begin looking at the bridge in my background differently.

This incident wasn't, like, an eye-opener for me.  That's not why I feel compelled to say something.

It's called Suicide Bridge for a reason.  Oddly, the same reason I make it a point to call it Vista Bridge.  Not because I can't handle the good and bad of the bridge, but because I'm not a fan of making suicide cutesy or jokey.

That said, it's better to be talking than not, and if you have to be cutesy or jokey to get talking, then go ahead.  My tastes will probably always err in another direction.

I don't like all of the pink ribbons and sundry pink sugar surrounding breast cancer either.

I know, I'm a killjoy.

I guess the thing is, the thing I have said out loud a few times since last night, and once already in this post, yet still feel like I want to say it again here, is:

Please look out for each other out there.

It's a gross simplification, but I'm not designing a program or proposing public policy here, it's just a request.

As much as you can, please look out for each other out there.