By Gigi Rice
Splat, Bang, Wallop on the tube (trigger warning)
I don’t know your name.
A while after the incident happened I googled it to try and find out who you were, some reporter
with a facebook group wrote a brief story. I messaged her. She didn’t reply.
It has been almost two and a half years since that moment our lives momentarily entwined. I was
on the way, day after my 21st birthday, to the venue at which I’d be holding my party.
“Gigi Down the Rabbit Hole”.
And we both got off the Victoria line at Highbury and Islington just prior to 2:30pm and made our
way down the platform.
In many ways, although I was angry at you at first, I consider it a privilege to have been there when
The sound was a splat. A really really large, sharp bang. A colossal wallop.
That’s how I knew you had passed.
I’d like to not fill this letter to you with sadness though. Some joy is on hand, as well as a little truth.
The woman whom watched you star jump gave birth to a beautiful boy about three weeks later. His
name is Finn. We got sent pictures. Champagne, for helping her. I wrote him a guide to life.
Sarah and I were invited to his first birthday party.
I saw the new live action remake of the Lion King on Sunday in Toronto and I thought of you.
Mufasa talks about the circle of life and how we all bleed into one another, existing in a delicate
balance. It makes your death easier to comprehend and accept. I hope whoever your family are
see it too.
I’m writing this letter because I’m scared. I forced myself to take the tube again that night but still
cannot to this day, sit in the front coach. I’ve been away. I’ve taken the tube on an ad hoc basis and
always do a sweep of the platform and it’s temporary inhabitants prior to the train arriving. A key
indicator is one foot on the wall. Psychologists say it indicates indecisiveness about the choice they
are going to make.
I get that, it’s a big one.
However, I know that you didn’t.
So I also look to see if anyone’s upset.
In Toronto I saw a distressed young woman on the platform. The train approached, she got closer
and closer to the edge.
This isn’t your story again.
She didn’t jump.
But I felt bile rise up in me in the split second before the train passed her and then felt disgusted
that I hadn’t gone over to see if she was alright.
I wonder when you look down upon us that you are disgusted with all the vices us mere mortals
still have yet to change.
I thought of you.
I’ll be using the tube twice a day, everyday in September.
How do I balance just getting on with it whilst also looking for those like you?
Or should I make my peace with those that wish to go?
Does anyone ever really wish to go?
Both of us are well aware that your situation was not unique.
And that up there, in your big blue sky, you’ll grasp their hands and pull them up to the Beyond.
This is the thing I most thing about when I think about SCA.
How does one make sure to arrive in the morning, sans perfume of death?
In my favourite play, “People, Places and Things” by Duncan Macmillan, The character Mark
advises “Emma” to say Amen at the end of a prayer to a higher power.
“It’s like pressing send on an email…”
The Rabbit Hole.