I went to the bridge. I walked there, thinking about things. It wasn't stormy, it didn't feel 'forboding'. It was a normal night. The city lights made it hard to see any stars, but I could look out over the water easily enough.
Well, I thought, maybe it doesn't matter. A dark and stormy night would have more drama, but maybe a pleasant night was just as good, or better. Anyway, it made no difference. Nothing really mattered anyway.
I stood by the railing, just thinking about things. About me. I didn't matter, I couldn't hide from that anymore. I guess I'd known it all my life, but tried to measure up to other peoples' standards to try to matter to them. But that is not how things worked. It seemed clear now, I finally understood...or maybe just accepted it. People were different than me, they cared about things that I didn't think were important, or maybe they'd just fooled themselves into caring about stuff so they could be friends with other people who'd done the same thing?
I couldn't do it. For a little while, sure, I could get interested in football or a movie or what some celebrity did. But once I'd talked about with people...after a while it just got stale. The same stuff over and over. And so, that'd be another group of people that I couldn't really spend time with anymore.
I didn't see the point of...anything really. Mostly, I was tired of pretending. And if I didn't matter to anyone, would it matter anyway? I stepped right up to the railing of the bridge.
I heard footsteps behind me. I turned to look and saw a lady, maybe 30 years old. She was walking briskly to the bridge. I don't think she saw me, I was next to a column and probably in shadow. She gave me a glance as she came up to the railing, about 10 feet from where I was, probably noticing me for the first time.
She looked at me. "Nice night."
"Yeah," I said. "Kinda peaceful."
She gave me a longer look. "You too? I hear it never fails. A long drop, and then washed out to the ocean. Quick, and nothing for anyone else to have to clean up."
I nodded, "That's what I thought too."
We stood there a few minutes.
Then she seemed to firm up her decision. She took a deep breath and let it out. She ducked under the railing and stood at the very edge.
She turned to me again, said, "Well, I guess this it. Goodbye." She looked out over the water, closed her eyes, and leaning forward with her arms stretched out fell forward off the bridge.
I still remember my first thought. She hadn't 'jumped'. Probably no one jumped. She just leaned forward, and fell.
I stood there a while, not moving. I wanted to go over, that was why I'd come here. Like she said, quick and easy, no fuss, and no trouble for anyone else.
But I felt something inside me, something...it was at the center of me. I just stayed aware of it, trying to understand what it was. I didn't feel disgust or shock or anything. What she did, what I was going to do, was rational and clean...responsible even. No, this was something else.
After maybe 15 minutes, thinking of what she'd said, I realized what it was. She was like me!
It might seem obvious to you. Two people on a bridge, about to end it all, of course they are alike.
It was like a revelation to me. I'd never known anyone who was like me in anything, anything that really mattered. "No fuss...no trouble for anyone else..." She'd been thinking just like me. What I was feeling, it struck me that it was probably my 'heart', my feeling that there was someone else who was really 'real', and who could maybe see the real me too.
And then, before falling, she'd said, "Goodbye." We'd never met, had only said two sentences to each other and that only a minute before. And still she'd said goodbye. Maybe she'd felt it too? That we were kind of real to each other?
I stood there a long time, thinking about this. How many others were there, who thought like us? Who could feel like us? Who could really be real to each other. I don't mean honest, but actually see the real person in each other. And this feeling in my heart. It was kind of painful, but a good kind of pain. A feeling of somewhere that I'd forgotten even existed. When I focused on the feeling I didn't want to drop off the bridge.
I walked away from the bridge, wondering over what I'd experienced.
I plan to write a bit more. Its not about murder or death, so don't worry.