The Bridge


I had the dream about the bridge again. It’s one I’ve had every couple of years and, aside from the bridge itself, it’s always the same basic story: I’m driving along the road that becomes the onramp to the bridge. It’s usually dark, and often there’s some kind of problem with crossing the bridge.

I remember one dream where the construction of the bridge is incomplete and crossing means trying to climb along the girders high above the water below. Sometimes the bridge is on fire; often I feel paralyzed by fear as I look down. In the best case I can fly, or at least can hover for a few moments, uselessly flapping my arms, suspended for a while before I start to fall.

Not surprisingly the latest dream featured the Harbour Bridge. I was trying to cross by first walking then being forced to climb on the outside of the framework.

And, as usual, I wake up before I ever reach the other side.

Some people think it means there’s flux in my life and I’m trying to make some kind of transition from one situation to another. If that’s true I’ve never completed the (unconscious) journey, although the events of my waking life might prove different.

If anything, time seems like it stopped years ago. My life now is rather ordinary, though I try and challenge myself just to feel like I’m moving towards — or away from — something I can’t really identify. I do know that I’m regularly overwhelmed with seemingly pointless tasks and responsibilities; pointless in the sense that no amount of effort seems to lessen their regularity or burden.

At the risk of sounding like an old man, these are some fucked up times we’re in, and, yeah, I seem to remember when times were much simpler. When I was a kid I actually knew my neighbors, and grew up with the other kids on my block. There wasn’t much need for cell phones — or email, or SMS — because there wasn’t anything so important to talk about when you weren’t hanging out in the flesh.

The worst thing anyone did in those pre- and early-teen years was smoke cigarettes or pot, and maybe fool around a little. The music was great, actors actually acted and porn came in glimpses by messing around with the cable box and getting crazily distorted image and two seconds of flesh. MTV actually played music videos and Reagan promised a prosperous future for everyone.

Whether it’s the maturity that comes inevitably with time or simply an observation on the sheer banality of recent years, it seems like there’s a whole lot happening but nothing going on.

I wonder if I should bother trying to make it across the bridge.

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