I’m feeling really meh today. Not sure why.
This morning, when we were getting ready to come in to town for the day, I remembered something that happened a long time ago. My parents, brother and I were on a ferry boat crossing the Orinoco river on our way to visit my grandma. This drunk guy walks, well more like stumbles, past my brother and I. We commented about how drunk the guy was and chuckled about it. A few moments go by, and I look back to see that the guy is standing behind the safety rope, on the plank that cars drive over to drive onto the ferry, urinating into the water. Suddenly, the ferry makes a sudden movement, and the guy fell overboard.
Once the guy went over, people started yelling to get the captain’s attention. The captain, slowed the ferry down and started to turn it around to go back and pick the guy up.
In the meantime, the guy frantically starts to swim towards the ferry, but is getting noticeably more and more tired with each stroke. A moment later, his swimming slowed. Then it stopped.
He started treading water, waiting for the ferry to get to him. Waving a hand in the air so we wouldn’t lose him in the wake and the waves. He must’ve tired because he just went under. He surfaced a little bit downstream from his original position, arms flailing in the air, but then he went under again.
I remember hearing someone say that if he surfaced again, he would live, if not, he was going to drown. He never resurfaced.
His body, was never found.
He was a tall man, of about average weight, wearing beige pants and a brown shirt that was half way unbuttoned. We never saw anything about it in the news, no one seemed to miss him. If anyone did miss him, it never made it to any news outlet. I don’t know why I remembered this event today. I don’t remember the date that this happened, I only remember the place where it happened. For years, I think I told myself that the guy resurfaced again, we just didn’t see him. He made it to shore and walked home, with a heckuva story to tell.
I don’t feel guilty about watching the guy drown. As a certified lifeguard, I know that if you jump in to save a drowning person, two people will drown that day. The guy was too far away to throw him a life line, not that there was one available, and besides he should not have been behind the rope. I think it’s sad that the man drowned, but there was nothing that I or anyone could’ve done to save him.
Peace be with him.