I’ve always hated bridges. Maybe it comes from my fear of heights, or maybe it stems from the fact that running water tends to make me nervous because I can’t fucking swim. My mother says it’s because when I was seven I saw something on the news about a bridge crumbling and cars falling off of it. Apparently a bunch of people died. Either way, I hate bridges.
This was why the fact that I was walking on the bridge tonight was already very out of character, but the route I’d have to take in order to avoid the bridge was somewhat out of my way and ultimately really inconvenient. Most days I took that route anyway, but tonight, cigarette in hand, I heard the call of the void stronger than usual.
It wasn’t a nice or particularly scenic bridge, the water that ran underneath was a gross brown-green. Three cars had gone off the side of this bridge in the year prior, and I’d thought about that every time I passed by it.
I took the cancer to my lungs and leaned slightly over the side. I turned my attention to what used to be a tattoo parlor, and then another one, which was now a shop that as far as I could tell, sold Oriental vases and foreign home decor. A very intoxicated man smiled at me and nodded as he approached. I wrapped my hand around my pepper spray. Not that I really knew how to use it in practice. I’d never had to. Rather, there had been a point where I really should have but I didn’t end up doing that, I would have just ended up screaming and kicking him.
Either way, the man passed by me with a boozy hello and kept moving. I turned back to the gross river rushing beneath me. Sometimes you just look into a river and want to sit in it until it takes you. I leaned down and looked in. Nothing but dark and cold.
A man in a dark coat strolled towards me, not in any shitty way, just walking. He paused a moment just before reaching me, “Ready for a swim?” he asked.
Maybe, I thought.