There is a bridge I've gotten to know pretty well. It marks the turn-around on my running route.
It's older than the others in the conservancy, spanning the stream narrowly with slats that run the same direction as my tread. It smells distinct when damp. Like rot. And mothballs.
My footfalls feel uneven and muffled. Hushed, unlike hollow ring of the newer, neater
bridges. The ones with the perfect, gradual arch and the uniform
spacing. I like this one better.
I cross my bridge alone, mostly. At a run. At a walk. Thinking. Spaced out.
But if I ever have a companion, the vibrations of our steps clash just so and the whole thing bounces in a subtle but slightly unsettling way. Just enough to remind me of my position, suspended above the water. Somewhere between here and there. Vulnerable even though completely supported.
Everyone's in bed. Even the refrigerator's hum quiets and silence settles like a snowfall, a soft dusting over everything. I'm stretched out on the couch, holding an unopened book.
I'm staring off into space when I notice it.
It talks in ticks and tocks all day but never audible over the tide rushing in and out, high and low, the sounds of a life loudly lived. But it's a mechanical shout right now, not to be ignored, marking every second that's here then gone.
The rhythm nearly matches that of my heart beating -- but not quite. There's a space in between so the thump falls a step behind the tock -- just so -- and the sound and the sensation clash. The reverberations bounce across my belly in a subtle, but slightly disquieting movement from within. Just enough to remind me of her position, suspended over time and vitality. Somewhere between here and there. Vulnerable even though completely supported.