There’s a Bridge in New Haven

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.

About Cindy Zelman

Creative and Freelance Writer
This entry was posted in Overcoming Fear, Panic Disorder, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to There’s a Bridge in New Haven

  1. Kassie Rubico says:

    I am terrified of flying and have to medicate heavily to do so, but for some strange reason, high anxiety and all, I love bridges; I love diving over them, and I especially love running over them…. the higher the better! Thanks, Cindy.


  2. Angela Foster says:

    Good job, Cindy. Sounds very real and I feel the pain. It actually sounds like poetry. New genre???


    • Cindy Zelman says:

      Angie, it makes me feel so good that you like this. I don’t know how to write poetry, but I’ve been told my prose can be poetic. I think that happens when I get into a zone and work with language more than story. Of course, for an essay, one must work with both. Thanks so much for reading. 🙂


  3. Geenie says:

    awww, I feel your pain Cindy dear. Hate those moments… I love your writing. So real.


  4. Deanna says:

    Oh wow, I feel this, Ive been in that exact place. Thank you for sharing


  5. Deanna says:

    well I read this two ways. The bridge, yes I shake and sweat on themthem but face them everyday, and what the bridge represents. I think I get it anyway. So a bit of both. I’ll continue to read as long as there is something of yours for me too.


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