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.”