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Random thoughts on a scrap of cloth - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Random thoughts on a scrap of cloth [Aug. 12th, 2004|02:27 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Reaching downtown Cleveland from the West side of town requires crossing one of a number of long, high bridges over the Cuyahoga river valley. I usually come in on I-90, whether I drive or take the bus. It's an interesting trip, because the ghosts of old drawbridges stand permanently opened, upright against the sky, abandoned with the construction of the superstructure bridges that bypass the docks and wharfs in the industrial transportation cradle below. I am still astounded by the size of the ships that come up that river, looking improbably placed by Photoshop magic, but for the fact they are real. Their length and girth would appear impossible to negotiate around the hairpin turns in the river, but their very presence belies that false assessment.

The I-90 bridge must be about a quarter-mile long, four narrow lanes with no margin for error on the shoulders. Crossing it in winter weather makes me a bit nervous and I generally won't change lanes. I focus all my attention on my driving, over that stretch of bridge.

But this morning something caught my eye. Snagged on the narrow curb between the roadway and the wall was a bridal veil, white netting wafting in the turbulent air as car after car roared past it going 55 miles an hour.

When I see something like that, I can't help but wonder about the story behind it. Was it a giddy bride in a sports car, flinging it into the air? (On a Wednesday night? Seems unlikely.) Was it a jilted bride, tossing it angrily from the window? Was it a bride-to-be, who is still weeping that her beloved veil was sucked out the window by the wind? Had it been her mother's, who is now glaring at her through bitter tears of recrimination? Was it in the shopping cart of a bag lady who wandered onto the highway in the night, only to be shepherded back to safety by incautious police officers who did not value her treasures as she did?

The most melodramatic thought, of course, is the suicidal psychotic, leaping in her wedding dress, the veil catching on the railing to be ripped from her head and left as a silent beacon for searchers, or the homicidal groom flinging a clawing, terrified bride to her doom. Neither of these romance-novel scenarios seems likely, particularly since the drop would have been onto the ground and not into the river, leaving readily-discovered evidence about which I surely would have heard by now.

Most likely, it was in a load of belongings poorly secured in the back of a pickup, and its loss will go unnoticed by anyone but me. But it still makes me wonder.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cleobourne
2004-08-12 06:35 pm (UTC)
That's a really good idea generator for a flash fiction.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-08-12 06:37 pm (UTC)

Good point

I really need to start collecting people and scenes for fiction again.
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[User Picture]From: moominmuppet
2004-08-12 06:57 pm (UTC)
I dearly love walking to the end of the street to just look at the bridges; it's my favorite part of living in Tremont.
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From: appleblossomtru
2004-08-12 07:02 pm (UTC)
That is odd.

When I was in nursing school, I had to cross the Valleyview bridge on I-480 in winter. That was after that car had been pushed off of it by a truck, too. I stayed in the middle lanes, and freaked if a truck came anywhere near my car. Still gives me the creeps to drive across it, even though they've put up new barriers and fences. ::shudder::
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-08-12 07:10 pm (UTC)
That was before my time, but I do have that fear.
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From: appleblossomtru
2004-08-12 07:12 pm (UTC)
What's really strange about it is that I actually have no fear of heights, and not so much the fear of falling. I climb tall ladders without difficulty, and have been up in monstrously high observation towers.

I guess it's really the fear of the *splat* at the bottom.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-08-12 07:14 pm (UTC)
I am fine in the wilderness, hiking along cliffs, but railings over heights in buildings make me paranoid that for some unknown reason I will jump (or drive) off. It's crazy.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-08-12 07:32 pm (UTC)
It is an odd one. I don't like the feeling at all.
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From: appleblossomtru
2004-08-12 07:30 pm (UTC)
I think that's because those railings are a reminder that you *could* fall off.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-08-12 07:32 pm (UTC)
It's more like they are temptation: "We're protecting you!!!! You can't fall!!!" Something in me fears that I will defy them.

That being said, I would NOT stay in a 30-story hotel with an open atrium and no railings. I would be terrified of sleep-walking or something.
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[User Picture]From: mishamish
2004-08-12 07:49 pm (UTC)
As a wise man (Terry Pratchett's Rincewind, if memory serves) once said:

I'm not afraid of heights! I'm afraid of depths!

or

It's not FALLING I'm afraid of... it's when I *STOP* falling!!
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From: appleblossomtru
2004-08-12 07:49 pm (UTC)
Precisely. *g*
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From: appleblossomtru
2004-08-12 07:50 pm (UTC)
To add to that: It's the *suddenness* of the stop.
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From: nasagrl
2004-08-12 07:11 pm (UTC)
I love this post. The randomness of the why.

Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2004-08-12 07:16 pm (UTC)
Hee, I do things like that, too, when I see mysterious hints of other people's lives.

As evidenced here.

I think this is related to the reason why I love LJ so much.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-08-13 01:59 am (UTC)
Cool entry. Thank you for pointing it out.
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[User Picture]From: mishamish
2004-08-12 07:50 pm (UTC)
I had a similar thought while in Charlotte, NC as I sat at a traffic light at the foot of an exit ramp. There, behind a chain link fence, in a seemingly inaccessbible bit of rock and scree, were a perfectly undamaged pair of Raybans. With the full power of my imagination, I couldn't even come CLOSE to coming up with a plausible solution for how they got there.
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[User Picture]From: brujah
2004-08-12 08:09 pm (UTC)
Amazing, isn't it, the things our brain will paint when we see something? I used to LONG to belong to some sort of LJ community that's sort of based on something like photochallenge. Belong to, not run, because the joy in writing would be gone if I had to moderate it.

Thanks for sharing this, I enjoyed the reading.


-Helly
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[User Picture]From: dawntreader90
2004-08-12 08:32 pm (UTC)
i do that all the time about things more random than that :)

i have trouble sitting on a plane or in an airport without going crazy wondering what everyone's doing there, why they're going, who they're going to visit, are they happy, are they sad, are they on business, vacation... on and on and on.

you should write a story about the bridal veil to see where it's from. might be interesting!
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[User Picture]From: dandelion_diva
2004-08-12 08:59 pm (UTC)
What a cool post. :)

Gessi
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-08-13 01:07 pm (UTC)

Re: Long, high bridges? Not necessarily...

No, it isn't necessary, and I have done it the other way, but for commuting purposes it is definitely more efficient.

The bulk of commuter traffic crosses the high bridges. And I have tremendous affection for the abandoned ones.
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[User Picture]From: dagrrl
2004-08-13 12:46 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to tell you thank you. This was the first post of yours I had read (although I've been meaning to check you out for awhile, now) and it's been in my head since I did. These are the things I always want to blog and forget before I get to a computer. :D
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-08-13 01:08 pm (UTC)
I know about the forgetting part! I do that often as well.

And welcome!
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From: grimmjest
2004-08-16 10:48 am (UTC)

Adding the creep factor

One thing to remember is that even The Land O' Cleve has its reports of the Phantom Hitchhiker and historically those are brides.

*cue creepy music*
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-08-16 01:01 pm (UTC)

Re: Adding the creep factor

Oooo. I like that version best.

Though rush hour traffic is not generally conducive to creepy, Lovecraftian adventure.
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