I’m not afraid of driving over bridges, not even big bridges. I think the first time I drove over the Sunshine Skyway I was 17 years old.
That is a pretty big bridge. It is over five miles long and one time it collapsed, but I am okay with it. It is actually quite beautiful.
I’ve walked on and driven over the Golden Gate Bridge and I’ve ridden or driven over most of the big New York bridges and that crazy one in Delaware, but the big bridge that I am most likely to find myself on these days is the Bay Bridge.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge (or the William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge) connects the Eastern and Western shores of Maryland, or more importantly for me, it is the quickest way to get from Washington D.C. to the Delaware beaches. It is a dual span bridge, it is over four miles long and at one point it is 186 feet high.
186 feet is high.
I probably go over this bridge at least eight times a year, and while it can be disconcerting in a storm, it really hasn’t been a big deal for me.
I guess this is the part where I explain that the Bay Bridge sees a lot of traffic. A lot. Enough that during peak rush hours they will open up the inside lane of the westbound span and make it eastbound to help with congestion. I have noticed it before, but I never really knew how a person got over there and I never spent any time thinking about it.
I was very clever and brought my E-Z Pass with me so that I could 1) go through the toll with no cash and 2) go in the fast lane and pass all of those suckers waiting to pay their $3.00.
Well now I know how one gets on the westbound span heading east.
And it is scary like shit.
On your left you have oncoming traffic. On your right you have a massive drop into the Chesapeake Bay.
I am a pretty good driver and an even better swimmer and I was close to soiling myself.
I found this picture on the internet of what it looks like.
Except this really doesn’t do it justice. Normally I would have been taking pictures like crazy, but since I was driving – and terrified – I kept both hands on the wheel.
See the cars on the one side and that weak ass railing on the other side?
It was one of those situations where I was afraid to slow down because the trip would take longer and I was too scared to speed because I was afraid I would lose control of the car.
I am a pretty brave person. I am not scared of flying or heights. I don’t get stage fright (unless it is an audition). I am okay with crowds and spiders and clowns and dentists and speaking in public.
I don’t mean to say that I am not scared of anything. I have my issues. I am afraid of needles and tornadoes. I am phobic when it comes to snakes and I haven’t watched a horror movie since I accidentally watched “The Ring” in a theater and didn’t sleep for two days.
But this bridge thing. This one thing really threw me. I wasn’t expecting to be scared.
It is like this blogging thing.
I acknowledge that this blog thing is winding down. I don’t believe that “blogs are dead” or anything like that, but I’m not blind. Even when the traffic is there the comments aren’t. I’m just as likely to be on Twitter or Facebook as I am to be reading a blog. I’m not as comfortable writing about my children as I used to be. They can read. It is becoming their story and not mine. Sometimes I go an entire week without writing anything here.
So what is next?
I don’t know. A lot of my friends have written books. Do I want to do that? Maybe. A lot of my peers have started PR companies, design firms or consulting businesses. Do I start another business? Maybe.
I have a pretty good writing resume. Should I try to get a solid writing gig that actually pays?
Do I try fiction?
Yes, I am scared of snakes and writing fiction. Somehow the fiction reveals more about a person than the memoir ever could.
I like change, but I’m not quite sure what comes next.
It is these bridges.
You wouldn’t think that something that big could sneak up on you, but there it is.
And we keep driving because we have no other choice.