By Jason Schwartzman

June 30, 2014


You couldn’t go where you wanted so you settled for walking the George Washington Bridge, no one’s favorite. It is a fixture though, speared deep into rock on both sides of the river. It seems so solid, the bridge, so much of itself, one color, of the sky on a forgettable day—solid. On the pedestrian overpass, not in the cars, you hear the cars, and they sound like old men in a sick ward, wheezing, coughing, insides unsettled, towing the tonnage of themselves. The bridge bears all their weight, a servant of transience, of betweens, ruled by its little gains and losses. 

You’ve only just met her. This high, you’re trying to trick your brain, trying to distract it, so don’t look up, don’t look down. The river is something you wouldn’t survive. Look outward, lost in the view, or inward, at the barrier between you and the stagnated cars. Here are the very bones of the bridge, you think, fortified with metal. There are scattered shards all around, bolts and screws, strewn across the floor. You take one, because some things you can’t hold in your hands. It is surprisingly heavy, flavored with orange rust, the circular slither of its screws ringing it like the age of a tree. Is this the work of the bridge, you wonder, expunging parts of itself it doesn’t need, littering out its life? Or is it full of holes? Just like you.


Photo "George Washington Bridge walkway" provided by Matt Kane, via Flickr creative commons license.

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