So its the end of a semester at the college where I lecture, and it’s been a long and arduous one, too. I looked forward to this day since October, and I’m desperately needing to get home. Tuvok came along for the drive to pick me up from work, and I spend some time socializing him. All goes very well, but I’m very tired and want to go home, so I leave work at 6:00pm, and get caught in a huge traffic jam that inches along every fifteen minutes or so.
When we finally pull up to some shops, we see police vehicles parked haphazardly across the road, blue lights piercing the night, and a crowd of people gathered to view the latest attraction: a dead man inside one of the stores. Two robbers decided to hold up a convenience store, and one got killed, shot to death, while the other escaped.
The dead man in the store created quite a sensation because as we inched along we saw people running towards the store to have a look. We had to detour, and that took another hour and a half because there were cops on the other end of that road scrutinizing motorists and pedestrians in the vain hope of catching the other crook.
At least I didn’t see any dead bodies this time. In my short stay in Jamaica (I’ve been living here for about four years now), I have seen three dead bodies on the road: two were as a result of a cook-out…I MEAN shoot out, and the other was a hit-and-run.
It is a common practice here for cops to leave the mangled, bullet-riddled bodies uncovered for pedestrians and motorists to ogle at. It’s horrible that such sights no longer offend a culture. I still remember the first corpse I saw some years back, lying on the road, eyes staring blindly at the evening sky, mouth fixed in a grimmace.
Then there’s the body that I saw a few months ago. That one was clad in white, an innocent guy waiting for the bus, when a few gunmen drove by and pumped a couple of bullets into his body. His white outfit became striped with blood. It was surreal, like a prop out of Hollywood.
There’s much talk of putting an end to crime. It’s a dialogue we’ve been having for a long time. Crime, however, continues unabated. We don’t even have a police commissioner anymore. The guy who would probably be successful at fighting crime isn’t been considered because he lacks the “right qualification.”
In the meantime, we continue our steady died of morbid entertainment. Will it ever stop?