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The Bridge

There’s this bridge that I drive over

on my way to my hometown,

and every time that I drive over it,

I get a full blown anxiety attack,

and have an existential crisis.


I’ve always been curious

as to why I feel this way

going over that bridge.


It’s happened hundreds of times in my life.


I always chalked it up

to being afraid of heights,

but today,

as I was driving home for Christmas,

I had a realization that it couldn’t be the fear of heights

that had me feel that way.


Fear alone

doesn’t make me feel like that.

This was something else.


Then,

I remembered a fact about the bridge

that I always seem to

forget.


That bridge

is the bridge around here

where people go

to jump off of.


It’s a suicide bridge.


It stands hundreds of feet

above the Deschutes River,

in a canyon,

in Central Oregon.


I remember going to this bridge,

and standing over the edge of it,

before my first fight,

so I could feel

overwhelmed with fear.


I was afraid of being afraid before the fight.


So I stood,

and looked down

until I got dizzy.


It was a sinking fear.

An overwhelming fear.


But looking back now,

it might’ve been all the suicides that had happened

right where I had stood.


When I drive over this bridge

on my way home,

it only last

about 7 seconds-

but I always get in my own head,

and it feels like minutes.


And with my thoughts,

the feelings follow.


I psych myself out

about that bridge

as I approach it.


But today,

I thought that maybe,

what I am feeling

is the energy

from all of those souls

that chose to jump.


What I feel,

going over it,

is

death


It’s:

illogical,

mystical,

absurd,

but,

unfortunately

in this moment

it feels

real to me.


-C.H.

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