I don’t really know what to say about this morning. There are large number of suicides on the suburban trains around Paris every year and it’s nearly impossible to avoid getting caught in a transportation disaster when one happens on the line. They tend to close up to six stations and trains running on the rest of the line are often disturbed. It happens enough that people have a pretty blasé attitude about it, maybe even being angry that their day was so drastically disrupted.

I can’t ever quite seem to muster up that level of indignation because it mostly just makes me sad. I’ve dealt with depression before and I feel fortunate that I have had the resources and support to get help while I struggle through my dark times.

This morning it was closer than ever. The train moved slowly away from the station where I board and eventually pulled slowly to a stop two stations later. Something was wrong. They announced over the loudspeaker that there had been an incident and we would wait. A minute later they ordered us all out of the train and started evacuating the station. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a fellow passenger point something out to an RATP agent. It didn’t click what they were referring to and as I walked past the gap between the cars on my way out I glanced down and saw her lying there.

I couldn’t see her whole body, but what I could see was broken and unmistakably lifeless. She had olive skin and was wearing jeans. She was either wearing gray knit boots over her jeans or socks pulled up over her jeans. I can’t get over that I don’t understand her footwear. Maybe they were socks and her shoes came off? They must have been boots. I also won’t forget how the line of her boots (I’ll go with boots) was broken by where the train had run her over. Her tibia had punctured her skin. Either this was a later injury or she had been moved down the track; probably both.

The humanity of her life and struggle was gone. What I was looking at was basically a pile of meat. Someone’s broken body after life that had been so hard. There really isn’t anything left and there’s no meaning except what the people she left behind assign to it. There’s a tragedy in that, because it seems like our struggles should mean something more.

I didn’t know her. I don’t know what happened. But I will spend today mourning her, because life is senseless and sometimes cruel. Because we all do our best with what we have. Because you never know what someone else is going through. Just because.

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