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From The Bottom of The Echo Park Lake
Sunday May 2, 2021 (Inspired by the song Le Noyé Assassiné)
Ten years ago. Ten years ago, I walked around Echo Park Lake, and a thug approached me for money. I had no money, so he stabbed me in the stomach and threw me into the lake. I sunk to the bottom, and now it’s only the turtles and the lotus flowers in my company. Ten years in the dark, murky waters of this lake, and I even hate water.
Ten years without having a drink, and there is no fun here. No girls, no books to read, nothing. Just me and my internal thoughts as the green moth grow over my body and turn it into another lake element. At night I’m only aware of the street lights in the park, and I can hear the soft sounds of traffic. Often a siren goes by, but surely it can’t be something worse than my situation here in the lake? I sometimes feel the fish nibbling on my skin or a turtle snapping at my hairline. I feel no pain, but I’m very aware of all the things around me. The daytime is better because at least I can feel the presence of children, and often they put their hands into the water. Mothers scream at them to take their five digits out of the water. I remember one saying to her child that you never know what’s in the lake; it can be filthy. To be honest, I was never the cleanest person on Earth, so Mom may have a point there.
The swan-shaped boats come across above me. I can feel the vibration from the water as it hits the boat. Fish, the turtles, and even diving birds move on when these boats approach them, but for myself, I’m glued to the bottom of the lake. From my position facing up or on my back, I can see the stars on a clear night through the moss. It’s almost a form of cinema that I never get tired of—twenty-eight feet down and at home.