No matter what kind of sleep I got, every single day I woke up with one thought on my mind.
    Today is the day I jump off the bridge.
    I would first make the coffee and then feed the cat, sit quietly at the table and stare at the birds. My mind was in a daze, a sort of blankness that defuzzed itself and materialized on paper. I typed almost everything except my dreams; those were handwritten. I was careful in the morning but never again after that.
    It was usually 9:30 by the time I left. I rose around dawn and did nothing for hours just waiting to take my walk to the bridge. The outside was brutal. The city closed multiple times that year due to snow and I was careful.You would think someone with a suicidal plan wouldn’t worry about the tread of their boots but that’s all I worried about. Mornings were long. Not just the layers but the careful concern, the way I studied each outfit in the mirror all of them swallowing me in fabric. I am anemic and hate being cold. In winter I sustain by tea and leggings, scarves, hats and sweatshirts. Electric blankets cover me at night. I hate being uncomfortable but I have to cross the bridge today.
    Today is the day I jump off the bridge.
    I got up at dawn, drank coffee, fed the cat and then puttered around getting dressed, taking a bath, getting dressed again.The walk wasn’t that long. Sometimes I listened to the people pass me on the street but most of the time I had headphones in to distract  me. Head down, I appeared confident, determined about a location. There was always a steadfastness to the way I marched and I appeared non-threatening in my puffy jacket and glasses. I didn’t want to jump off the bridge,I had to. Compulsively, I walked every day to complete the task.
    No one was out this day. It was 9:57 when I reached the edge of the railing where I was now crossing the bridge instead of the sidewalk. There was a couple cars but hardly anyone had passed me and today there was a woman on the bridge. She was also covered but gazing outwards. I felt seen by her even though she hadn’t looked my way yet. I continued. If someone is on the bridge, I feel like my performance will be rated. How well I leap to my death is important to me and that is why I have not done it yet. She would surely stop me.
    I remained as brisk as I could, however, the ice startled me. It was in patches but it was on the bridge.
    Today is the day I slip and fall.
    My head was down so I didn’t see her climb up but I did look up to see her right leg still on the railing and the rest of her horizontal and then falling. My breath stopped. I remember that my breath stopped. I did lean over, despite my fear of heights and ice, to watch her fall right in the middle; a sliver of water in ice, the river dotted with freeze. I thought that was lucky. I imagine a fall like that would kill you but the ice would cut you first, break you hit. The thud would be remembered. I wanted grace; the way the water would simply freeze you and fill you and hold you like a mother. There was no one around now. I looked behind me and then back and not a single car or person was there.
    Today is the day I jump off the bridge.
    I checked my laces and I put my right hand on the railing and then my left hand on the railing and then my leg. I let go of the straw.


“The Woman Who Saw Her Own Death”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: