Mile 12 Fort Point
MILE 12 "Swan Dive"
LOCATION: Fort Point
Park Ranger Hopper
(Standing at the Fort Point front gate below the Golden Gate bridge staring out at the bay)
Never a single shot fired in anger from here… Lot's done in fun of course… twenty one gun salutes… you know? Great views of the bridge from down here. (PAUSE) Yeah I saw her. The girl in the white dress. I'll never forget her. I was down here early that morning to open up… Because there were these school groups coming for a big tour. The sun was just coming up. And I see 'em out there… The harbor patrol. And they're fishing a body out of the bay. Now I'm not morbid… But I'll admit I watched. I seen a dead body before… I'm not squeamish... But I was hopin' that whoever it was might still be alive. Like maybe they just fell off the back of some… weekend sailboat rental, you know? But, there was no wind and it was really foggy… Lots of boats in sight. Nothing in sight. Like you couldn't even see the headlands. But, I could see her. Bobbing in the surf. They got some kinda stick… a grappling-hook-like thing. They hauled her up out of the water and into one of the zodiacs… Her head was down… She wasn't wearing much… Just some kind of sheer white dress… Cotton. See-through when wet… And that's when I recognized her… I'd seen her the day before. I just stood there watching as they worked on her. The waves rose and fell. Crested and broke. The seagulls crying. Sounds I'd heard a million times sounded strange. They're going up and down, up and down trying to beat her heart for her. Blowing into her mouth and down into lungs… filled with water… And then it was all over. No paddles, No electro-whats-it's, with that flat-line tone… Her neck was broken. They were pulling her up to the Coast Guard cutter nearby… And her head, kinda flopped back. Like it just wasn't connected anymore. No tears. Just a green blanket thrown over her, to cover her up. Just a thing being hauled out of the bay, like so much kelp. Dumped on the deck of the ship. No other ceremony… Because they knew she didn't drown. Yeah I remember her. I saw her walking around the turrets… looking up at the bridge… I talked to her… Well actually... I had to ask her to leave because... we were closing. I said "have a good night…" She said that she was going to... That's all she said… "I'm just going for a walk...." I guess I was the last one to speak to her. Unless... she met somebody up there… I mean she must have gone up there and well… You know… People do that sometimes…Most people jump facing the city side. Nice view. It's a good thing they closed it to pedestrians at night. Thirty two feet per second, per second. They say it's like hitting concrete at that speed. Most bodies are never recovered. The current. It's weird… somebody who would never put a gun in their mouth or do pills, or gas… but they'll climb out over the safety wire and just... Swan dive. Don't understand why they do it. She was beautiful… well, she was. Not like that, of course… In the water all blue and… not like that. But like the way she was when she left through the front gate. The way I'll always remember her… in that white dress.
HE LOOKS UP AT THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
HE SHAKES HIS HEAD AND WALKS AWAY.
LISTEN to a clip from 49 Miles
Performed by James Carpenter
Recorded by black box theatre.com
music by Curious Quail
"Apart we are together"