grow up already

foresthill bridge pt. 2
March 25, 2010, 12:21 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Foresthill Bridge has opened a can of worms for me, and it started the day I saw it. I never really thought about people dying by jumping from bridges or other tall things. Now I think about it often, and I’m sad every time I hear about someone doing it. I am drawn to this. I should add that I’m not considering it. At least no more than the consideration of the existential question inside all of us when we’re up high: What if I jumped?

I just wonder how it must feel to be standing up there. Jumpers have a much higher success rate than other methods, and yet it is considered an impulsive act. What I’m going to wonder about next, I’m sorry to anyone reading this who might have found it because a loved one died by jumping (especially at the Foresthill Bridge, the term “Foresthill Bridge suicide” draws a lot of views to this blog). But when I hear about a suicide there, I think about how long it takes to fall. It takes 10 seconds, over twice as long as the the Golden Gate (4 seconds). I do not think about the rest, most people wouldn’t be conscious or cognizant anymore.

I wish there was always someone at that bridge to let people know they matter. Even if they don’t think they matter to those around them, when they jump it matters to me.

As much as I enjoy an unencumbered chance to look at the divide, to scare myself with that question we all (or all should) ask: What if I jumped? And for us, we step down, almost punch drunk with the fear and the delight of affirmation that no! we will not, would not ever, jump. But for the people who do not look at the divide with childish assertions of life and desire for life, what of them? I wish there was a barrier there. It would say: It matters to us.


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Yeah, posted the last too soon… We threw stuff off the bridge when we were kids, not caring, because the Bureau of Reclamation (read “Bureau of “Wreck”) was going to flood our beautiful river(s) behind the Auburn dam. Thankfully, the damn dam was never built, and we still have our beloved river canyons. I’ve been a river guide since 1979, and besides pioneering the tunnel-chute run on the middle fork, we also spearheaded cleanup efforts to remove debris that was tossed by ourselves and others decades ago.
I fell in love with a young lady my senior year in High school, and we lost touch with one another for thirty years. She married another, and had two kids. I had an epiphany in 2005, knowing that she was the one True Love of my life, and sought her out. She lived with her husband (of 25 years), in Foresthill. She and I started seeing each other after all those years, and she wound up divorcing her husband to be with me, telling me at one point, early on, “I knew you’d come and find me someday”.. ~Sigh~ I’ve never been so “In Love” with anyone in my life. I was selfish, to be sure. “Thou shalt not covet another mans wife”, etc… We were together for five years. all but the last being the most wonderful of my life. Her children and grand-kids were as my own, and I loved them as much as I loved her. Still do… 3-1/2 years ago she hit menopause, and everything hit the fan, so to speak. (They don’t call it “The Change”, without good reason). Things changed alright, and Not for the better, at least not for me.
I should have known better. Seen it from the start. That if she would dump the husband she spent 25 years with, she’d dump me too someday. But I was blinded by “Love”, and my own desire to be with her. Silly me…
Well dump me she did, and the last 2-1/2 years has been a living hell. She burned me for over 50 thousand dollars, still lives in the house we bought Together, and Lord only knows how she explained the disappearance to the grandchildren of their beloved “Papa Bill”. (Probably told them I’m dead).
Point is, I’ve know The Bridge, since it’s inseption, travelled across it dozens of time over the years, and it’s the structure that brought me back to her on Easter 2005, when she lived in Foresthill. Since she saw fit to dump me, it seems rather poetic in I way that Foresthill bridge should be the place that takes me A-W–A—Y——- Forever……………………………….
May give her something to think about, eh? A little reminder, whenever she goes up to Sugarpine Reservoir, or Loon Lake to go camping and kayaking.
Leaving this body, and the physical plain doesn’t scare me a bit, because I have Faith in something far better. And I’m 99.99% positive I’m bound for Heaven, because I’ve served my time in hell.
The fall doesn’t scare me either, because I’ve been a skydiver for 30 years, and done several B.A.S.E. jumps, most notably off El Capitan, and Half Dome. (It’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden stop at the end)… Ha-Ha!
So Foresthill bridge will be a thrill. May even wear my parachute, so it looks like an accident.. Just didn’t pull the chute in time, etc.
The obit might read: Manner of death was listed as “Blunt force trauma”, but the Cause of death, was a Broken Heart….

Then again, I may… Might decide on the way down that life really Is still worth living, feel the canopy open, and have a “Happy Landing”…
Could always (one-time only), pull the cord about 100′, and have a solo B.Y.O.B.B. party (Bring-Your-Own-Body-Bag). Less mess for the “Authorities”… Either way, I’ll be sure to have $500. tucked away on me somewhere for the EMT’s to find, with a note saying “Lunch is on me, thanks for cleaning up the mess”…

I do agree with you though, about having someone there to talk with, before taking the plunge……

Comment by Seldom Seen Smith

Smith I hope that wasn’t you who jumped yesterday. I hope it’s not you who jumps any day. If you are the kind of person who would leave some kind words & compensation for the EMTs, the world isn’t ready to be without you. I am the person who wrote this and I still mean what I said……it matters to me when somebody jumps.

Comment by growupalready

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