Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Bridge

The bridge is long, tall, and the water is deep. It stands very gray and forbidding in a stormy night not fit for "man nor beast". As we start to cross the bridge, the deck can be seen stretching on in the distance, lit by some unknown source. The deck appears to be sections of macadam divided by grids of steel. The churning water below creates a foggy mist. As we reach the bridge midway, the deck starts to give way and begins to fall, and fall, and fall to splash into the cold, empty darkness. I remember thinking I can swim, but there is sharp debris everywhere. No matter which way I turn, there are obstacles. I feel very strong and confident anyway. I claw my way toward the direction I think is the shore. It makes no difference which direction I swim, whether back to the beginning shore, or onward to the other side. As I reach the shore, I am weary and drag my way onto the small stones and gravel on the beach. I look up to the area where the remaining bridge sways by mangled sections with a partial portion of deck still standing near the cliffs on both sides. I am elated that I escaped seemingly unscathed on the same side of the bridge where the crossing began. Suddenly, very strong arms drag me back toward the water and plunge me into its depths again.

That's when my self-preservation kicks in, and I wake myself from the nightmare that has visited me periodically for over sixty years. I haven't a clue where this strange dream originates from my strange mind, or why it appears when it does, but no psychological analysis cou
ches for me. It happens when it happens. I find it strange that I am always viewing the same bridge in living color and looking toward it in the left of my vision. It sounds like a puzzle that House would love to tackle. Brain chemistry is such a mystery. It is fascinating to me that I have that particular recurring dream as well as several others. It isn't particularly upsetting as much as puzzling. I wake up thinking, Okay, that one again. There is no compelling urge to either explain it or stop it. After reading much literature on the subject of dreams, one thing is obvious, a lot of disagreement exists by the so-called experts on the art (not science) of interpreting dreams. I remain a skeptic.

The video above was taken of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse, also called Galloping Gertie, of 1940. It opened in July 1, 1940 and collapsed into Puget Sound in November 7, 1940. I don't think my dream is related to that event, but it seems similar. Perhaps I saw films of it as a child and my imagination added to it. I'm not afraid of bridges; no vertigo for me. I think they are beautiful structures and I cross my fingers that all the decimals were in the right places when a bridge was constructed. I am eager to see the bridge in the photo below in its completed glory. This bridge was under construction near Hoover Dam when I last saw it.

My favorite bridge to date has to be the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado.

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