I felt the electric pulse of the water under my feet, each molecule crashing within the walls of body, and knew that I was home. It was early morning when he took me there, right before the summer sun became searing, demanding the attention of all who dared to dwell beneath it. His dad explored here during the seventies, and had spoken of a solid marble bridge within the forest, now engulfed by the sports centers, fine art centers, and drama centers. This bridge was not a “center”; it was the center of everything that adolescence, beauty, and I meant, even though at that time I had not even begun to grasp any of those definitions. We slowly hiked within the mustard lines of an average road, one countless feet had rustled upon. Oaks served as stain glass windows, converting sunlight into a mystifying emerald. The steep road was frosted with dew, the aphotic pavement seductive, like the air of a crisp summer evening. Words echoed through the walls of my mind: I wish Julia wasn’t here—that it was just he and I together and in this silence he would finally hear the underlying and overarching emotions I keep shouting at him. But Julia’s presence graced this memory, for he and I were just friends…only friends. He looked at me; his heart didn’t vibrate rapidly like the wings of hummingbird flying from a ruby chrysanthemum to a snowy rose. He didn’t see a goddess draped in sapphires emerging from the sea. He couldn’t—could he? Did he? Within my internal caverns I knew that when he looked at me he witnessed a girl in dark skinny jeans jotting down poems with a leaking plume. He led us to a field that had never previously entered my pupils. It was empty. It was purposeless. So it was beautiful.
He taught us to descend through a patch of worn grass, down to a brush of olive vegetation, saying beyond the shrubs, sticks and barbs resided the bridge. The courage to continue the search had not developed in our hearts. We just stared at the slithering plants, seeing a barrier of thorny serpents.
               In time, love was discovered, hearts became shattered, and memories within the pages of my mind were mindlessly stained with coffee and tears. I revisited that bridge. Without him. I ascended to the sacred place alongside my friend Roxanne, but I was alone. Yet I needed Roxanne there; she wouldn’t play with my heart and rearrange it like a mechanic trying to remake a car, twisting its inner-workings with a cold rusted wrench. She wouldn’t do what he did. She couldn’t. I needed to share this site, for I couldn’t return to where everything was once whole, and view myself now, unfiltered by the desire to staple the emotions within my gut in an attempt to maintain normalcy in front of a peer. I couldn’t look at the pre-owned Volvo I had swiftly become. Beneath my hood was unsalvageable damage, minature metal screws shattered and blue wires meshed with the red and oil polluting my tank, causing it to erupt in an enormous internal fire.  I needed a Julia to be there—for this world not to be our place, his place, my place, but a place undefiled by a possession term before it.  
I weaved myself through the brush, bristles stabbing my chest as my feet gripped unsettled soil. Within a pulse I immersed in a foreign organic utopia. It was beautifully silent, silent and loud, the colors of trees shouting at me, the firefly creek sprinting. I held a thirst—to find that bridge—the judgeless bridge, the missing file in my memories.  My feet dropped into the water and danced across a mosaic of russet rocks. Upstream I went. I walked up; I ran up; I flew up. There was no bridge.
               Stabbed by shards of disappointment, devoured by darkness, yet standing in the light, I continued encountering a huge wall of cement. I had searched for a mystical bridge and merely discovered a product of industry polluting my paradise. The urge to attack every piece of the artificial edifice swelled within my core. I rotated to the other side. There lay an affable lake which stretched beyond the corners of my mind, speckling citrine. It was in motion yet obsolete. It was everything and nothing, esoteric yet austere. I plunged my foot within its body and it merged with me, then connected me into my surroundings. My soul drove within the waters, stimulating an extreme jolt, as the driver liberated her form from dented steel doors.
               With the whisk of the wind she turned to the other section of the concrete wall. I was consumed by the intricate carvings dripping down its angles. Its shards were scattered on the ground like the sneezes of stars. These carvings, these ruins, were molted skin. They were the remnants of my coveted bridge, and they were there, broken yet still beautiful. And at that moment, amongst those ruins, I felt pieced together for the first time.


Popular Posts