27 November 2005

Another Ghost.

My Denver is full of ghosts. The woman shot dead in the parking lot of the Capital Hill Wild Oats. Seho Park in the parking lot of the Korean grocery store. The man whose family I represented in a wrongful death action after a complex traffic accident sent him plunging into the Platte River near Alameda Street. The woman murdered in Observatory Park. Frank Ortega in the Denver Jail.

It isn't that I believe that any of them have a physical or metaphysical presence in the places where they died. Almost none of the places bear even the slightest trace of what happened there. But, they exist in my memories, in my sense of those places, as I move about Denver every day. Now, there is another.

Denver police are investigating the death of a man found Friday floating in the Platte River below the West Alameda Avenue bridge. . . .

While police would not reveal why they suspect foul play, one man who saw the body pulled from the river said the man's nose and face appeared to have been smashed. . . .The body was tentatively identified as that of a 65-year-old man . . . a worker at the Valverde Yacht Club bar said he recognized the man as a homeless person who had lived in a riverside encampment.

Most people never even hear these stories. This one rated a handful of sentences, buried deep in one paper and isn't even mentioned in the Denver Post. But, I read the paper more or less daily, and for whatever reason, they stick with me. Not all of them, but an occassional one. This one impacted me because that same spot already had one of my mental ghosts in residence and because it concerned a homeless man, a group of people who have been in my thoughts lately.

Denver is a big enough place that the darker parts of its character can be overlooked if you don't pay attention to them. This doesn't mean that Denver doesn't have a darker side. It has simply faded away in the monotony of the never ending tragedies.

No comments: