There were these beautiful patches of land. Wholesome, green, ethereal beauty like colors bursting from a picture that had been worked cleverly in Photoshop Except these were real. There was a brook, a stream or a body of moving water dividing and connecting the patches. There seemed no good reason to leave these places or try and go for what was beyond what one possessed All out of a picture from a Lord Tennyson poetry book. Untouched, uncorrupted and no potential for such.
There were bridges connecting these patches of land. I lived in the center most patch and I built the bridges albeit with some help from the patch owners on the other end. It was a mutual decision to build that bridge with the understanding that it would connect us – deeply. We had absolute access to each other and there was love and trust. Our relationships at the point of building the bridge defined how strong or weak or patchy the bridge was. None of the bridges any of us built were uniform from start to end. For the most part the bridges were insanely strong.
We let nature try and test us as we built ‘em. Sometimes we retired to our own patches of land and homes and watched for the storm to end. We could see each other across the water and our eyes said it all but we continued to wait for the storm to settle. There were times, unbreakable times when we decided to hell with the weather – let’s take a stand. Let’s work at it in the rain and wind. Those were good times. I remember them all. We would wipe the disdain and remnants off each other. Giggle some and even challenge the travesty. Then head over to each other’s patches and just love each other. There were times when it was really quiet and not a stir outside. Perfect sun moon and stars. Perfect broth on the stove and perfect coffee in our mugs. But a storm raging in our hearts. Waste. That’s all I could think of such days when we didn't make the most of it and stood still in our compartmentalized egos which we pretended we couldn't overcome.
Then came more land owners on the other side of my patch. With the ever increasing weakness and cracks becoming obvious by the weathering it had stood by, I wanted to build some more bridges. I didn’t at first. For the longest time I shared 1 water bank, 1 neighbor and 1 dream. I looked around and noticed more land owners who were always there but I just didn’t acknowledge them. I was human and a girl. I turned. The sun also burned my skin a different way and all the same existences smelled and felt different. I was nervous but these land owners wanted to build bridges and connect to me. Many I refused but I was more than willing with some (2).
It was the same experience. Except something dangerously different about these 2 new ones. They were risky, new and even outrageous. But I sunk in like I was meant to be there. The toxicity didn’t bother me and the sweetness only made me succumb. This wasn’t me. I hated it and I loved it too. But I kept my eyes on the 1st bridge. I couldn’t give it time for maintenance and the energy it asked of me. I combined my inadequacies and its flaws and converted them into rage. I was Toby Maguire (spiderman) in the black alien suit. Meanwhile I threw myself into the new bridges – guard down, morals and principles some. I accepted everything like an idiot. My increasing blindness towards the old bridge – MY BRIDGE – made me miss when it had caught fire and was reduced to shards of weak links. We looked at each other again from our windows. We saw the tears we both tried to hide but again the compartmentalized feelings. He came over the remnants of what was once our bridge but the other 2 patch owners hogged my attention from him.
I was lost. What was I doing? I burnt down the 1 bridge I built. I wasn’t even as sure of the new bridges as I was of this one. But I went on. He left and never returned. Like nature saw our burnt hearts she increased the width of the water body separating us. The silting made it impossible to swim across also without risk. We didn’t feel the same strong urge to swim across no matter what. I was falling in love with one of the new bridges. There was even a time I worked alone all alone to build that bridge. I was hoping that my love and dedication would stir the new owner my way. See that he had to contribute evenly and not just when he felt the need to. When I stopped working he would come and pacify me to work together. We would… for a bit and then it would be me alone. Now we both built an incomplete bridge. Sure we can cross over but there are gaps and scrapes and nails. There is hurt and hard work instead of a smooth walk across. I loved that bridge. I still do. But it doesn't love me back.
The 3rd and last bridge. Complete mess but there is innocence and stupidity there. It was a trial and error bridge. The real risky one. This owner loves me. I didn't quite ever ensure if I loved him back with the same intensity. He would pretend to not work on the bridge during the day cuz others would watch him and he didn't want that. But at night whether the moon was at its brightest or there was no light, and when my candle burned out for the day, he would sneak and toil away. He just didn't know that I watched. I kept watch as well and cared. Every nick and cut he got I cared and made sure that they healed. He was clumsy and he was careless but his heart was very much there. He didn't want me seeing it and I pretended like I had not seen it. That too annoyed him and amused me.
Now I am 2 bridges weak and burned, 1 shabby and unreliable yet working but none to cross over. I could sit in my patch all alone surrounded by all these patches and their owners and the water and the bridges and yet be lonely. I still sit and ponder – which bridge is really worth repairing and putting the last of my blood and sweat in. which bridge do I wish to climb across and seal in my memory for ever after. Which patch owner is the one I would like to build the bridge again and again with. I still ponder.
The 1st bridge is ‘R’. The remaining 2 I watch and covet everyday and they burn me from inside out. Bridges….