Look, I stare up at my MFA degree from Pine Manor College and I’m still not convinced I’m a writer. The only way to convince myself is to write, to be read. So…fucking A. Let’s have at it.
There’s a Bridge in New Haven
There’s a bridge in New Haven called “The Q,” over which I drive, become mired in traffic, terrified, cry out to no one.
The bridge is long and jam-packed: semis, luxury cars, buses, trailers, hybrids, and me. And I drive on – a car length, two car lengths, up to 15 miles per hour. Down to 5. I sludge on. The pace quickens, the jam un-jams. Jams again. I drive on. As if I were normal. As if the day was normal. As if my Subaru crossing a bridge in New Haven were normal. As if my body, sitting taut inside a Subaru, driving two hours into the unknown, was normal.
Early Saturday afternoon, near the heart of the city, the bridge rises over the Quinnipiac River. And so I rise with it. My car angles, stuck, a third of the way up the bridge. The incline creates a spatial disorientation. My head neurotic – I’m not supposed exist at a thirty degree tilt. As bad as the take off of an airplane, my brain spins. I panic. Not normal. The bridge is old. I shake.
My arms flail spasmodically, bang the steering wheel with one hand, then the next, banging at my terror, flailing like a “spaz,” that derogatory name we assigned to the less graceful kids of our youth. “You SPAZ, you can’t even tie your own shoes without falling on your face.”
There’s a bridge in New Haven. My shoes are coming untied. I’m falling on my face. Banging the wheel. Panicked. Flailing.
I yell at myself.
There’s more to this essay. I’ll post more, perhaps.