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  • three days ago another kid died at the gorge. he was 24 years old, a strong swimmer! his friends said.
    there wasn't even any alcohol involved. a sunny day.

    the water is fierce.
    a plaque near the road lists names, more than 40, of those who have drowned in this same spot in recent years. at least one a summer, usually more.

    how many names long does a list have to be for people to stay on shore, listen to the water charge by, watch the current swirl, and get back on their bikes and swim somewhere half a mile upstream? how loud does the river have to speak?

    some say it is an issue of respecting those who have lost their lives. you do not swim there in order to honor them.
    but others think that there are places that we are not supposed to go. there are things we should not touch.
    i guess it is less than surprising that people, who cannot even listen to another's no in their own language, would ignore the warnings of a river. even a river that will hold you safely less than 10 minutes away from this spot, in either direction.

    another sign, etched into wood, sloppy, but just barely legible, next to the plaque: "this water does not tolerate disrespect."
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