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A California story

I am fascinated and afraid of bridges. A couple of years ago, I had spent some time in the San Jose area and finally shacked up in Los Gatos. One day as I finally decided to take a walk around my apartment block, I realised I had not seen much of the environs at all.

As I kept walking, I came upon a bridge. I could see the traffic moving below and soon as the cars whizzed past I felt dizzy. It seemed like life was skirting life, and my feet weren’t touching the ground. Then I came upon a park with pretty fountains – people were sunning themselves. I was tempted to stop and sit awhile but I knew in a few days I would have all the sun, the sun of my home.

Lost in thought I found myself in a quaint-looking lane with small boutiques; the display windows subtly whispered Temptation. I stood to watch a luminescent crystal pendant. It caught the sun’s rays and appeared to blink, sometimes in pink, sometimes in blue, sometimes an iridescent green reflected from a tree that had retained its belief in spring and not yet browned…I had met a survivor.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, I heard a voice. It was a gruff manly voice. I turned and saw a woman, tall, lanky with a string of pearls round her neck. Her hands were gnarled like tentacles. She asked me for money.

“Sorry,” I said.

“You are not, you @*&^%...” (there was a barrage of cuss words, many of which I could not quite figure out). And then she raised her hand to hit me.

Stunned, I just moved away. I could hear her voice and then the loud sound of her expectorating. I turned and as our eyes met, she spat on the road. “Pthoo…”

For some reason, I said, rather softly this time, “Sorry.”

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Filling the Gap

I have one friend who is afraid of crossing bridges, but does so. I have another friend who is afraid of crossing bridges, but the reason is that she is tempted to leap from them. So far she has not.

And, on a trip to England, I found out that a huge delay in the movement of traffic was because the driver of a car, half way across one of the largest bridges in the land, could go no further. Eventually the police had to lay the driver on the back seat and cover him with a blanket. Then a police officer drove the car over the bridge.

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A bridge too far

Strange how a word, an object, can bring out different responses from people.

I still love trying to count the vehicles or check the colours of the cars as they whizz past.