Man hangs himself from Lake Merritt bridge in apparent suicide, police say
It's a very short article. It didn't appear in the San Francisco Chronicle, my usual paper. This is the significant sentence: "Witnesses said a woman ran up and down the bridge screaming for someone to stop him before he jumped."
Four days later, at my gym after a water aerobics class, I found myself sharing a hot tub with the woman who ran up and down the bridge screaming.
For the purpose of this story, I'll call her Ethel, which isn't her name. She's an older African American woman who works in San Francisco and exercises regularly at the Oakland gym, and one of her exercise habits is a daily walk around Lake Merritt, a course of a little over 3 miles. We chat regularly in the locker room. After climbing into the tub, she told me flatly that she'd seen a man kill himself on Friday evening. I asked her to repeat herself a couple of times, partly because the jacuzzi makes a fair amount of noise and partly because I wasn't sure I'd heard correctly.