Floating garbage

We had woken up early that Sunday morning in October, as we often did when we would go out fishing. We were just kids, but dreamed big about catching the biggest fish. On our bikes we were always out and about, our fishing rods tied to our backs.

That morning we decided to stay close to home to try out new lures in our local park pond. No matter what we brought, there was always something that bit in our local pond. It was cold that morning, I remember. One of the first real autumn days of the year. A dense layer of fog hung over the pond’s murky water. Mark decided to try some rubber lures from the small pier. I decided to stroll down the right side of the pier, where we would often catch good perch. A large garbage bag floated about twenty meters or so from the pier. Horrible how people leave their trash.

Upon closer inspection, the garbage bag turned out to be a dead body. I will never forget the silhouette of the hairline around the ear and the swollen shapeless face that looked back at me*.

That day I lost a big passion.


*I later heard it was an elderly woman that had committed suicide. She had long struggled with bouts of depression, in addition to physical disabilities. She had decided enough is enough and had simply parked her wheelchair face down into the pond. She could not swim. A letter in her house described her plans in detail and, as I have found, were executed to perfection. I did not know her, but I hope she found peace there and then.      

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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