When I was fifteen I got a Toshiba point and shoot camera from my grandparents for my birthday. It was black with red lettering and had cost nearly 300 dollars which, at the time, seemed like a hell of a lot of money. I loved that camera. With it I took my first set of (admittedly somewhat disturbing) self-portraits. I still have some of the photographs. I had a very bad perm my mom and sister had talked me into and my walls were covered with tons of graffiti that had been put there by me and my friends (yes, my parents were absurdly understanding....)
That summer I took my camera on church choir tour. Half way through we stopped in Colorado Springs and went rock climbing at the Garden of the Gods. At the time I was still an outdoor loving flower child and I climbed up the rock formations with ease. I went out on a ledge to take a picture of the trees in the distance when, suddenly, my foot started to slip. I tumbled down a 40 foot cliff and landed just a few steps from a big thicket of thorn bushes. Amazingly, I wasn't even really hurt; just scrapped up fingers, a twisted ankle and a banged up shoulder. That's not quite what you could say of my camera. The old Toshiba never really did work right again. For a long time, I lived without a camera. After that, I had no more accidents (a couple of non-camera-related fender-benders don't really count, do they?)
Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows I bought my first SLR camera a few months ago. I carried that camera all around the city with me, taking hundreds of pictures. Today, what happened is this: I walked to Mitte with the fam, Mitte being the downtown business district of the former East Berlin. Since today is Sunday, the streets were deserted, giving us the feeling we were in a ghost town. At some point we came to a bridge and Jasper said let's go look at the water. Mia and I speeded ahead and walked down these steps that led right to the river Spree. She walked out onto this pier to chase some ducks and my mother-heart skipped a beat. You're being ridiculous, I told myself. The pier isn't all that narrow and Mia is always very careful. We walked together slowly down the pier and then back again.
When Mia had started going back up the steps I decided to stop a moment and take a picture of the bridge. I still don't know how it happened because I didn't trip and, like I said, the pier wasn't all that narrow, but seconds later I was underwater. In the Spree. Kicking off my shoes and FREAKING OUT! Jasper came and tried to lift me up but the pier was too high and I, being water-logged, was too heavy. After a few minutes some people passing by came to help and, finally, I was fished out.
The story could be worse because it could have been Mia who fell in the water, though it scares the hell out of me to even think of that. I knew before hand that we shouldn't be down by the water and I should have listened to that little voice.
And my camera? My beautiful Olympus SLR? It was still around my neck when I took the plunge. I'll let it dry out for a few days but the hope that it will ever recover is slim. RIP my lovely Olympus. I will miss you more than I can say.