I saw a man fall from the sky today.
We have an airfield near my house, and there are many places to parachute. Starting in the spring, the sky is full of multicolored parachutes. Today, as I was driving to pick up my daughter from school, I was watching the chutes. Suddenly a red one came down, going far too fast. It flipped over, upside down, and I could see the body of the person twisting helplessly above it, before he was pulled down into the chute and the whole thing went sideways. It swirled around, flinging him in circles, before the chute collapsed and torpedoed to the ground.
The whole thing maybe took thirty seconds, but it felt like far longer.
I wanted to do something, but I didn’t know what to do. I drove closer to the field. The scarlet parachute fluttered in the long grass like a flag, anchored to the ground. I could see other chutes floating down. I knew since he landed in the target field, that the people in the airport would have seen him, so I assumed the best thing to do was to drive out of there and get out of the way. On the way back I saw the Flight for Life helicopter leaving the field, so I hope they reached him in time.
I felt that same helpless sickness that I felt when Mr. K got hit by the train. The need to do something, yet unable to find the right solution. I’m glad my children didn’t see it, and I haven’t mentioned it to M. I’ve just been sitting here with my stomach twisted in knots and seeing that red parachute falling, over and over, and the man’s body flailing in the wind.