Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Love in Suspension

My coworker confided in me
after one too many skinny margaritas
that she’s in love with the Brooklyn Bridge.
“It’s certainly iconic and beautiful,”
I replied, but she shook her head.
“No, I’m in love—romantic love, true love
with the Brooklyn Bridge.
She is my true love.”
“Uh, okay,” I said,
glancing quickly around us,
making sure that no one we knew
was near.

“I’ve known since I was in the fifth grade.”
She looked down into her drink with a shy smile.
“I’m sure you have questions,” she said.

There was a pause.
“But you date people, though, right?”

“I’ve tried,” she shrugged,
but it’s nothing like the thrill
I feel when I see her, my Brooklyn.”

“Do you…go there a lot?” I asked,
gulping down the rest of my drink.

“I’ve never been there,” she admitted.
“Never taken a step upon her,
never touched her suspension towers,
or her strong steel cables.
I don’t know how I ever could.
I’m afraid of flying,
afraid of heights
and afraid of looking down
into the water.
But she is mine,
and I am hers.”

“Have you dated any more
local bridges or…overpasses?”
I asked.

“No, no,” she shuddered,
pushed the idea away with her hand.
“They’re all men.
Ugly, rusted, rotting.
No beauty, grace, or romance.”

Then she smiled at me,
the smile you wear at funerals.
“You think I’m a freak, don’t you?”

“I think you’re…unusual,”
I replied slowly and honestly.
“But your love life is no business of mine.
As long as you like after-work drinks
and hate Cameron in R&D as much as I do,
you’re fine with me.”

I’m not good at keeping secrets,
but I kept hers.
The trust she placed in me felt sacred,
and I was pretty sure
no one else would believe me anyway.

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