Saturday, 5 May 2018


At the corner of my eye something dark drops over the edge of the bridge. I find myself running with others in the direction of chaotic shouts, reaching the balustrade and leaning over to see a man struggling in the water below. A young man, dark clothing puffed up around his reddened face. A woman screams and runs back to the street while others make frantic calls. I am fixed and mute. Three men at my side begin shouting instructions to the man below, a life ring is thrown out of reach, as others rush down steps to the banks of the river. The man in the water is consumed in struggle, the river is relentless, sapping his strength with every stroke. The men on the bank  continue shouting as the man is pulled with the current, the water twists in powerful contractions, wrapping itself ever tighter around the him. He briefly tires and slips beneath. When he resurfaces with a gasp, he is now at the widest part of the river, but soon, again, he slips under the surface. The moments beneath grow long and anxious. Eventually the blue light and sirens arrive. The men on the bank stand silent.

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