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.


  1. 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.


    • 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. 🙂


  2. 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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