Winner of – Best Family Blog – from VUE Weekly 2017

An actual bridge over troubled waters


I walk down the river valley because the river valley is rip ass awesome.

Makes you not think, distraction wise. And water has magical properties. I was raised near the Atlantic so I gots a thing for mass liquidity.

Short story long, on my way down into the valley of the river on this fine eve, I heard some raised voices coming from the foot bridge I was approaching.

Now, I was listening to an ancient (1985?) audiobook of McCarthy’s The Orchard Keeper, which is a thick listen. So I wasn’t really focusing on the argument, but I pulled one earphone off just in case it was something that I would need to pay more attention to.

As I hit the bridge (the one that crosses to the Goldbar Treatment Plant), the argument OrchardKeeperpicked up. It was a ‘why don’t you love me’ type thing.  A young man. A young woman. She had friends, he was solo. That type of jobbie. Sad. True. We’ve all been there. Ish.

So, I pumped up the jams, ploughed through the kafuffle, and made my way to the other side of the bridge taking mental stock of all those involved.

I could tell how old they were/how old I was because she was trying to brush him off saying, “I’ll link you later. I’ll link you later!” I don’t understand in which context she is using the verb ‘link’, but I understood the vernacular. He was saying, “That is what you said last time and you didn’t talk to me for weeks.”

For the record, it should be called “The Bridge of Good Smells”. Truly, the wind rips through that bad boy in an awesome way. Like a funnel of nose gifts. Pollen heavy and determined. Sincerely.


On my way back, I hear the young lady and her friends skipping through the wood. She obviously dumped the guy. And, according to what I heard, it was not the first time. She and her friends’ voices gave off a feeling of relief. They were moving on.

It was then I found a sobbing mass.

All I could see was his tattooed hands attached to a hooded head typing into a phone. He was perched on the fencing, an adolescent and heart broke gargoyle.

I stopped and asked if I could give him some advice.

There wasn’t a response.

I continued anyway because I’m that type of jerk. I said, “I bet you have a lot of love in you.”

I said this because he didn’t call names or threaten her, which means (at least in my heart) that he actually did care for her.

He looked up, tears running down his face. Eyes broken. Tough and tender, just like Rizzo in Grease.

“You have to move on man. Just gotta. Someone will love you back the way you love them. Still won’t be easy. But you know…there are more of you out there. Just have to find them. Good luck.”

I turned and walked back across the bridge.

No idea why I said what I said, I contemplated what part of me I was commenting on.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter. I gave a stranger a kindness I usually reserve for myself and friends.





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