Man Dead, Woman Missing from Chicago River Accident

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

  1. complynn says:

    *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.

  2. 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!

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