Last night at around ten o’clock, I collected a friend from Greenwich. I parked in a small street behind and just a few yards away from the Up The Creek comedy club.
As I waited for my friend in the car, I could see, across some waste ground and half-hidden by a tree, an ambulance parked by the pavement in Creek Road, which runs parallel to the road where I was parked. The ambulance was facing the wrong way and a couple of paramedics were kneeling down at the pavement behind the ambulance, apparently tending to someone. I could see no other vehicles and no police car, so I figured someone had fallen down or had a heart attack.
So it goes.
A few passers-by looked down at what was happening as they passed.
By the time my friend came out and joined me in my car, the paramedics had got up and were clearing things from the pavement. It looked like a pillow and medical equipment and suchlike.
I had to drive out of our road and turn back on ourselves into Creek Road, heading for the middle of Greenwich and the Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames.
As I started to drive forward, we could see that, previously hidden by a building, across the waste ground, in front of the ambulance in Creek Road was another ambulance and a car facing the wrong direction and a police car. Behind the second ambulance, there was a stretcher raised on wheels with more paramedics standing round it.
After we did our 180 degree turn into Creek Road, we passed the first ambulance.
Before we got to it, we saw an abandoned motorbike lying on its side, on the pavement, halfway into a bus shelter. There was a dark pool of petrol coming out of it, as if the motorbike was bleeding.
So it goes.
We drove past the first ambulance, drove past the second ambulance, drove past the paramedics, past the closed Up the Creek comedy club (it was a Tuesday) and, as we turned left into the one-way system in the middle of Greenwich, I looked right and saw a lone policemen standing in the middle of the street stopping traffic turning into Creek Road. The traffic was queued-up, the drivers probably pissed-off. By the time they turned into Creek Road, the ambulances and police car would be gone and there would be nothing to see.
“I wonder when it happened,” my friend asked me. “I wonder what we were doing.”
“It doesn’t matter,” I said. “It’s not relevant to our lives.”
About ten minutes later, as we drove up onto the flyover leading to the Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames, a police car came racing through the roundabout, its siren blaring, its blue lights flashing, heading towards Greenwich.
So it goes.
By the weekend, I will have forgotten any of this ever happened.
It is not relevant to my life.
A butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazon and is soon forgotten.