THE VICTORY BRIDGE,
BACK WHEN IT WAS THERE
I feel like I'm working, even when
I'm working, and when I'm not, I
feel that way too. Once I was the
bridgemaster atop the Victory Bridge.
10 or 12 times a day, maybe, having
to scuttle the traffic and open the
bridge; everybody down below
pissing and moaning because I
cost them seven minutes, maybe,
on their way to Two Guys or some
stupid store back then. Liquor. Rakes.
And potted plants. If they had a real
place to go they weren't on this bridge
anyway - it ran right along and parallel
to three highways, maybe even five, all
depending on what you count: Routes One
and Nine and Thirty Five and Parkway
and 440, and whatever else you need to
know go look it up. Those are real roads.
This was a dumb-ass path. No one ever
jumped off here either - wasn't worth it
and wasn't high enough - again, real
jumpers went to the other bridges, where
they could hiy real paydirt in one big try;
or whatever you call that. Like the elevator
guy says, 'Going Down.' Mostly, if we
had any problems, they were the head-on
crashes of the drunks. There was no
divider, and the speed limit went
unobserved; least-ways I never saw
it and neither, I guess, did they.
Wrapped around a pole or two, or
each other. And dead as all get out.
Victory Bridge? We always called it
Tragedy Bridge or Trouble Waiting
to Happen. A few times some jerk
drove right off the open edge. Not
the same jerk, but I didn't want to use
plural, to not blow it all out of proportion.
Besides, everyone dies alone, as one.
Ain't that what they say? The old bridge
is gone now, with the swivel span I
used to open, from high above, in
my little wheelhouse. The new one
they built is atrocious - it arcs so
high into the sky that Saturn itself
could safely fit under. And now
there are jumper warning signs every
200 feet. 'Don't Do It! There is Help!!
Call...blah,blah'. Like the frenzied
jumper is gonna' sit there and read,
and maybe say, 'a phone number!
Hey, that sounds like a good idea!'
What a jerky world. Let them jump.
We got too many people anyway.