One of the fondest memories I have from when I was a kid was when I swam in a lake with a bunch of my friends. They had spent the night up there, drinking and partying (I was 16 or 17, wasn’t a kid but I kind of was). A mate and I went up there, the day after the partying, to meet them and we decided that it would be good fun to jump off of a fucking cliff into this lake. Now, this lake has killed a lot of people, I think mainly because of the currents that run under the surface, the currents that you are most likely going hit when you jump in the water.
I didn’t know this at the time, if I did, no fucking way would I have been anywhere near that lake. But I was a fucking idiot and knew nothing and a guy there said that if he jumped in, I had to, I agreed, he jumped in, I just fucking ran and jumped and it was the best thing I had ever done. I felt like I was in the air for years, doing the whole running thing that you do when you are in the air for a long time. When I landed the water was freezing, I had a very short swim, straight to the shore, got out and did it again and again, did a bigger jump, did the smaller one a bunch more times and then borrowed a towel and got dry and slightly warmer.
After this jumping session was over, my mates decided to swim across the lake, right in the path of currents that kill people. I don’t know if they knew about these currents at the time but they set out for the other bank and we walked around to meet them. Thankfully, they all got to bank. I believe one of them said he felt the currents but managed to swim through them ok.
Then, a few years later, I was in a pub, a friend of mine walked in, not one of the people that I was with at the lake that day, someone else. He looked devastated and just sat in the corner with his pint. A friend of his had been found on the bottom of the lake that very evening. He had got in to have a swim and never made it out.
That lake used to be a fishing lake, but now you can’t get anywhere near it because of all the death. It is a weird place, I have a great memory from it and I also have the memory of a friend who was always so upbeat and laughed about everything, sat in a pub not caring if he drunk himself to death. No one I know has ever been back to that lake.
Improv word: Swim.