something old, something new

[I swear I will shut up about this eventually.]

I went to the new bridge. Emerging from the maze of overpasses in Emeryville was like riding into my own marketing copy, some fundraising piece for urban greenways. Thousands of people had chosen this for their Sunday. I have spent most of my life in the Bay Area and never seen such a perfect parade of its Diversity™, a crowd so complete and so mixed and somewhere not serving alcohol. I saw an old man with skin like a speckled egg hold an iPhone aloft and explain to the screen in gravely, Russian-accented English: “You see, here is new one; here is old one.” I heard a child on a tricycle announce, “That was great, daddy, let’s do this every once a while.” I nosed my own bike around walkers and gawkers of every age, shape, and color, and I swear to their various gods that every last one looked happy to be there.

This path doesn’t even go anywhere yet!


I went to the old bridge, the sawn-off end of the old East Span. Its body was guarded by a lone white pickup and the reasonable assumption that acting on my trespass fantasies would result in my being shot on sight. On the upper deck, now stripped and open to the sky, the streetlights stood like an honor guard over the empty road. Below and behind the chain-link, lane lines receded into the shadows of the S-curve. I could hear the silence from behind the barricades. And I know, I know, I know, but I wanted to leave flowers.


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