The Moya View

Crossing the Bridge


There is a moment in the awful skid of metal in front of you on this two lane bridge when the gold suv loaded with two  kids in the backseat, maybe a small dog, a chihuahua asleep perhaps, in the middle, a mom and dad in front, maybe-maybe not talking-arguing, a cargo  carrier on top, would just open up and spill all their clothes in rainbows, the arch descending allowing you to drive through unscathed. 

Then, you would stop along the margins and help them pick it all up, fold it neatly, place it in aligned stacks in the trunk, shake their hands, wish them safe travels, wish them safely on their way, thank God you are safe, they are safe.

But no, they are behind you.

Somehow you skidded around them when you closed your eyes and pulled your steering wheel hard left- only by the grace of God there being no counter flow coming- then hard right when you reopened them and noticed that they are all now in your rearview mirror.

The road in front is free and clear of traffic. But in back, there is smoke- Maybe it is fog- Maybe it is rain- You don’t know- It is dark all around.

There is no dent, but you are looking at the wrong side.

A passenger door is opened - You think you see a passenger door opening.

There is a thing- four footed, yellow with a tail- still, on the dash. There is no blood. Perhaps it is one of those yellow plush Plutos they stack in high pyramids at Disney World. Yes, that is it. Thank God.

Then, it moves- perhaps it was jerked away by a tiny little hand trying to get out the window- or the open door.

Yes, that is it.

The door is hitting against the bridge rails. It is not open wide enough to let this child through, let anyone through.

A window rolls down. The yellow thing appears. The tiny fingers clutching it lose their grip. The yellow thing, maybe a dog or a non-dog, falls face first, the rest of its body following, into the dark, falling- a silent splash into the quiet river.

You slow down. You stop. You think about turning around, going to help. You do decide to help.

The bridge road is very wet. It is very narrow. There is no room to turn the car around. If you did, you would skid, get stuck in the same awful situation they are in.

You cannot even run. You would fall. You would hurt yourself. Your only choice, you realize, is to walk slowly, carefully back, hoping you get there, in time.

The bridge road is very dark. The fog is rolling in. The fog has rolled in.

The child is crying now. The child is screaming now. Crying and screaming for all the things not moving inside to move.

They do not. He does not know if they are alive. If they are asleep. All he knows is that he must cry and scream, hoping he is heard.

You hear him. You hear it- the hum of the bridge, everything on the bridge, the stirrings of the river below coming alive in the mounting deluge.

The child has pushed himself through the open window. He is on the bridge beam, trying to stand up, push himself up, steadying himself so he can jump to the roof slightly above him, just a little beyond his grasp.

The suv lights have died. They died a long time ago.

The bridge lights at the beginning and the end glow, but they are faint. The middle light died days ago. That bulb is scheduled to be replaced in two days, after all the dead bulb on much longer bridges are replaced.

The bridge is short, less than ten breaths short.

You can only navigate it through the dark to the child by touching the margins. The margins in front of you.

You begin to realize the moment to help is passing by rapidly. You are slipping, sliding, pulling yourself through sheer will. Yet, it is too slow, not fast enough.

The child is wobbling. He is almost falling.

You now know you will not reach him. Will never reach him.

You scream to him, it being the last thing you can do.

He hears you. He looks forward to you, trying to find you, focus on you in the dark.

You scream once again.

And the child falls. Backwards through the window.

The crack of bone to metal, tells you are near, very nearby. It was a dull thud. One that gives you hope that the boy might be alive. He will be alive.

You have almost reached the suv. You have reached the suv.

The dad’s head is slumped on the steering wheel. The mom’s is leaning against the closed window. They are not moving.

The lack of condensation on the windshield tells you that they are not breathing. Probably may have not breathed for a long time.

The airbag never deployed. You don’t know why. You will never know why. All you will know is the anger and sadness that you feel now.

In the back, the girl is slumped forward, her head resting on the back of the seat in front. (She had tried to reach forward to her dad. In the hard stop she had broken her nose. Hitting the bridge had caused her neck to snap back and then forward, causing a whiplash injury. At least, that is what the medical examiner’s report will say.)

The boy is unconscious. His chest movements tell you he is alive. In the fall backwards through the window his head had hit a tin toy chest partially covered by a pillow. You are happy, at least for this one small thing.

You take out your phone, dial 911. One ambulance comes, then another.

Alone, you realize you are the margins, exist in the margins. The moment is looking back at you. The bridge is between you and the moment now.

You will look in the rear view from now on.

Time will be your bridge. You will be the bridge. Your life will take its shape. You will be a part of it always, somewhere. Always crossing the bridge.



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Comments

4 responses to “Crossing the Bridge”

  1. caroline46 Avatar

    I can so relate to this one. Dream sequence and almost a soliquiy I may have not spelled that right

  2. caroline46 Avatar

    Excellent

  3. Nicole Smith Avatar

    The fear I felt reading this!

  4. JONATHAN MOYA Avatar

    Glad you liked. Appreciate the read, follow and like.

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