The Bridge

I’m walking to the Des Moines Art Center today. I feel great, healthy, alive. I see a sign on my way that says it’s 45 out. Not bad for December. I’ll take it.

In front of me, I see the dreaded bridge. Why is it the dreaded bridge? Well…I’ll tell you. I reach it, close my eyes, put my hand on the rail to my right, and walk. I can hear the cars below careening by. I step carefully, focused, concentrating my mind. Think good thoughts, Clint. Think good thoughts.

Why do I have my eyes closed, walking across the bridge? If I don’t,

I get this strong urge to jump.

I tell you, I’m not suicidal. Well, most of the time. Sure, it runs through my mind occasionally. Wouldn’t it be nice to just end it here and now? Don’t think, just jump, then splat. No more worries. No more problems. No more stress. No more fighting. One jump, then it’s done.

The only time I think about this, is when I’m walking across a bridge, or on a patio 13 floors up. I just get this urge. You know, where does this urge come from? I don’t know. Mostly, I think, I’m curious. What would those last few seconds feel like? Probably the biggest rush of my life, guaranteed. To know that it’s going to end moments later, is a captivating thought.

But no, I’m not ready to go just yet. I’m a fighter, no matter what comes my way. I fight, I struggle, I win, I lose. You just have to wake up every day with hope that it’s going to be a good day. That yesterday’s problems won’t haunt us. That we will loose the chains and be free of them, so we can make it another day.

I hear the cars, I peak my right eye open, the one closest to the street. Almost there, almost there. I’ve got to come up with a different route for my walk. 10 more steps to go, 9 more steps to go, 8 more steps to go, I’ve got this, I’ve got this. You’re in this life, you can’t stop, you must go on, you must FIGHT, you must WAKE UP TOMORROW, you must LIVE.

3 more steps, 2 more steps, 1 more step…

I open my eyes, and the bridge is behind me.

I get to the Art Center 10 minutes later, and it’s closed.

I was so looking forward to seeing the Picasso.

-Clint Curtis


2 thoughts on “The Bridge

  1. Holly Herbert

    I avoid the pedestrian bridge over the Des Moines River by the botanical center for the same reason. I’ve only crossed it two times, ever.


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