Whatever it is, it isn’t worth it, though it seems so at the time.
A little climb on the rocks by the lake at night, in midwinter, or
a January midnight lunge into the river to retrieve a falling phone.
It only looks calm, navigable, shallow, that water. It only looks
placid, like it will happily receive you, help you find what you lost.
It will receive you. You may perceive that it is glad. You might find,
as you are fading, that nothing more is lost. But now your family
dredges up from some other depth this fact: You died at age 26
for a phone that is now waterlogged and frozen, no longer
sending any signal, no longer searching for you.
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18 thoughts on “Man Dead, Woman Missing from Chicago River Accident”
*You may perceive that it is glad* has me attending the resulting wake and hearing an insensitive neighbor quip, “A river always wins.”
I love the restrained heartbreak.
Thanks, complynn … Indeed, the river and lake do win most of the time. Each winter, there are stories just like this. When I read the article about this one, the part about the rescue divers giving up their search really got to me. Such a terrible loss, over something so inconsequential.
Vivid. Chilling. Whew.
Thanks, Jennifer …
haunting, the thought of the searching phone, then the giving up…
Thanks, hisfirefly. Yeah, I don’t know why, but the phone itself haunts me, too.
I read this story in the paper–so sad. Actually, so useless…to die for a cell phone.
I know … I can relate to that urge to try to save it, but that one dumb little mistake cost him everything.
sad, sad, sad especially for those who tried to save him.
I know. I think the woman is still missing but certainly presumed dead.
Hard to believe it’s a real story. Foolish, yet you restrain your indignation and anger well. Especially love the lines: ‘It will receive you. You may perceive that it is glad. You might find,
as you are fading, that nothing more is lost.’ Such self-control!
Thanks, Marina. Eventually, they found the body of the friend who went in after him, too.
Powerful. A cautionary tale well told. I wonder what the stats are on how many times this happens.
Thanks, Steph. It seems like there are quite a few stories like this each year here in Chicago, especially in winter.
How sad a story and how poignantly you’ve written it. I really like this, Marilyn.
Thanks very much, zouxzoux!
It’s amazing the stupid risks we take over dumb, inconsequential things.
Indeed. And they can seem so important at the time, too.