Aaronson had not always been dead.
In a certain epoch, prior to this photo, one might even say without exaggeration that Aaronson was a living being.
Between the ages of twenty-seven and thirty-one, Aaronson would circle a roundabout, like an obsessed insect.
Every morning, between seven and seven thirty, a man was seen circling the city’s main rotary, where sixty percent of traffic would run into.
At seven o’clock in the morning there was less exhaust fumes than late in the afternoon or at ten o’clock in the morning, but there was some nevertheless, together with the metal and also the speed of some cars. And there, in the middle of all this, endangering his own life, a man would circle the rotary again and again, hundreds of times. That is the man we can only see the name of: Aaronson.
Any habit, the repetition of the most nonsensical action, is quickly taken in it takes only a few weeks, in some circumstances a few days are enough, for the exceptional to become part of normality, a habit; in the limit, it may become a fact, part of the landscape, to which one pays no attention.
Between seven and seven thirty, the drivers that had the habit of driving through that specific rotary knew that, also by habit, a man dressed for the occasion, wearing athletes' shorts and t-shirt, was circulating there. Hundreds and hundreds of circles around the same rotary, like a car that didn’t know which way to go, hesitating between one direction and another; it would hang around there, not risking it, making no choice. While I am in the rotary, I am not lost; at least I won’t be going backwards. And that was one of the attractions of that circulation, an almost infinite circulation were it not to stop exactly at the three-hundredth loop. This was the attraction: around a rotary, nobody goes backwards, nobody is wrong, nobody has to admit to a mistake and reverse. After all, life is easy. In a rotary.
Nobody likes to be humiliated, and Aaronson (if he were an automobile) at least didn’t make a mistake, didn’t take the wrong street. Three-hundred turns to get the balance and then back home. Don’t risk it! somebody seemed to be saying close to his ear, don’t risk it!
Let us discuss briefly the rotary: a perfect circle. Diameter: impossible to know for sure, but an exact value a number that didn’t need to be rounded off.
When he was aged between twenty-seven and thirty-one, in the period when he run between seven and seven-thirty in the morning circling the city’s main rotary, Aaronson was never considered more than a predictable fool which it to be half a fool, since predictability parts danger in two.
However, a few days after turning thirty-one, he stopped showing up for his seven to seven-thirty in the morning jogging around the city’s main rotary.
People stopped seeing him. And they stopped seeing him because Aaronson died. And the city is so embarrassed by a dead body that, within one hour tops, the dead body disappears. If anybody wants to see the dead body must therefore show up within that tiny period while the dead is dead in the middle of the city, unprotected. Unprotected from the eyes of the others and from other threats.
The dead are more protected than the living, but the city has its own rules and its functioning. Its hygiene, you’d say, and rightly so.
This is how Aaronson died.
He had just turned thirty-one. He was an apparently normal male, except that thing with the jogging but there was something missing. Once, a few months earlier, a driver stopped the car and asked him: Why are you running here? It is dangerous.
Aaronson thanked him for his concern. He didn’t answer anything concrete, perhaps a simple: because I like it. He did shrug his shoulders and went on running.
But on that day something changed in Aaronson. A voluntary or involuntary action, one will never know. What is certain is that another day he arrived to the rotary, at the usual hour, dressed in his gear.
Aaronson had made a decision.
That is how he died. At seven o’clock in the morning he began his usual jog around the rotary, but strangely on that day, he started running against the flow of the traffic. He still managed five full circles around the rotary before Mr. Ashley’s car hit him at high speed, throwing his already lifeless body to the center of the rotary. Was it not for the fact that the human body is so irregular, Aaronson would have fallen (or his head would) in the exact center of the rotary.
Why did Aaronson decide to change the direction of his run that day? The only person who could have answered, isn’t speaking any more.