posted on Jan, 14 2004 @ 10:46 AM
One of Those Nights
Barely anyone comes to the Sixth Street Bridge anymore. Hell, most people avoid even crossing it. I guess it’s no wonder… more people have committed
suicide on this bridge alone than in any other place in New York. It’s a gloomy place, a small stone bridge over one of the canals that funnel
rainwater out into the bay. Even during the summer, the little river is a good twenty feet deep. I like it, though. It has a quiet, sad aura about it.
I come here to think. I fancy sometimes that I can see the faces of the bridge’s victims gurgling down below. At first, every night I’d come by and
look down into the swirling water, only to have the locals call the cops. Nowadays, they just let me be.
I pulled my long black coat around me as the drizzle fell around me. It was just one of those nights I had to be out on the bridge- one of the ones
where I feel obligated to stand there- fog crawling around my ankles and obscuring the buildings on either side. I was as happy and peaceful as I get,
watching drops of water tumble off of me and down into the murk below. People just can’t understand why I stand out there, the place where God knows
how many people have ended their own lives. I can’t either. It’s like I’m standing vigil for the lot of them, just to prove that someone remembers;
Footsteps sounded as hard boots struck and slurred against the asphalt. It wasn't common to find someone out at this hour, particularly in this
stretch of town.. The person continued to advance, steps scraping as they slowed down. I figure they’d seen me by this point, but I didn’t show it. I
just kept looking down into that stream, wondering at life and death each as wholes. There was a definite pause in the tandem – they had seen me for
sure by now – then a sudden rise. They stopped ten feet to my left, probably mirroring my pose. I finally looked over at the impolite intruder who had
interrupted my thoughts.
A young woman no more than a few years older than me leant on the barrier and looked out on the scenery I saw almost every night. She had long, light
brown hair with red streaks. It cascaded about her shoulders, flecked with drops of water. Each one caught and reflected some of the meager light. Her
quiet demeanor was reflected in the pits of her eyes as she turned towards me. Each of the bright green orbs seemed to be livid with pain as each
seemed to dance like the blackened streams of tears that ran down her pale skin. Dark red lips managed to curl into a lopsided half smile.
“Hey,” she called out quietly.
For lack of any better ideas, I nodded back a greeting. Staring at her, I tried to unravel the mystery of why she was here. Dark pants and a red
shirt, both soaked to the bone graced her lithe figure. It wasn’t hard to see the outline of her bra as her clothes clung to her. She shivered,
whether from the chill or something else I couldn’t say.
“Not here to kill yourself, are you?” I barked gruffly, trying to maintain a sense of territoriality. She just shook her head.
“Yeah, it does. Every time someone takes a leap from here, I have to deal with the badges for another night.”
“Twenty-eight this year.”
“Not a bright thing to do, kiddo.”
At that last comment, she smirked. It was more of a twinge than anything else and soon vanished.
“So…why are YOU out here? Gonna take a leap of faith?” she responded, trying to put me onto the defensive. I just shook my head.
“This place…this place means something to me.”
“Someone you know?”
“No. The people I never did.”
An amicable silence fell between us as the rain poured on. I didn’t know what to say. Apparently, neither did she. It wasn’t hard to tell – the black
running down her cheeks spoke volumes of her despair. I made a bid on it.
“Boyfriend trouble?” I tried.
“Wanna talk about it?”
“Once again, does it matter?”
“Hey, I’m just trying to make sure you don’t end up with a toe tag.”
“Your concern is touching.”
“It better be, ‘cause it’s all I’m gonna spare until you get friendly.”
She halved the distance between us. I tried not to react, but I was shocked. I hadn’t expected something so forthright. I reciprocated, halving the
distance once more. We stood like that for some time, not saying a word. Finally, she spoke.
“Have you ever wondered if anyone cared about you at all?”
“No, namely because I knew that no one did from day one.”
“Must be lonely.”
“Usually, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”
I looked her straight in the eyes again. I could see the desperation in them, the longing for something –anything- to hang on to. I saw my reflections
in them. I always hated myself, namely because no matter how hard I had tried to be with a woman I always fell dead last to some pretty boy. I tried
offering a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh with, and both before I figured out that I didn’t cut it. I turned back towards the comfort of the
fog. I had always hated mirrors.
She saw something in me, I suppose. My mother said that the eyes were the window to the soul. Her hand reached out and found mine. It was cold, but I
could feel the warmth below the soaked skin. Quietly, she murmured to me, “It’s a damn cold night. I don’t care where I end up, as long as its not
I looked up, trying not to appear surprised. I expected nothing less than contempt from everyone I had ever met (looking back, I can see just how
right I was), but for once I didn’t see an enemy or a rival or someone out to toy with me. The best way I can describe her as that night was a kindred
spirit. There was something about her, something that reached out and called to me. I don’t remember why I did it, but my hand linked with hers. We
walked off into the mist and drizzle together, and left the bridge and its spirits behind.
[Edited on 14-1-2004 by John bull 1]