On my way to school tonight on the bus, just as we were merging onto the Hawthorne Bridge from the east side (where I live), the traffic was suddenly all backed up. That’s weird, I thought, the traffic is never backed up going into downtown this time of day. Then the bus driver’s little message thing squawked, and she looked at it and cursed. She told us that the whole bridge was shut down because there had been a jumper.
She said she was going to try and turn the bus around and go back the other way and change courses across a different bridge, but that was unlikely to happen, since the traffic was all bottle-necking onto the bridge. So, we all just got out and walked.
As I was walking over the bridge, though, I looked down, and it just didn’t seem to me like it would be far enough to kill someone. I mean, you could probably do some damage to yourself, sure, and maybe die if you landed wrong. Either way, you’d break some bones. And then as I looked up it occurred to me that someone could also climb up the tresses (that middle part where the things stick up actually moves vertically to let boats through, like a drawbridge, but a vertical one) and definitely die from up there. And between those two things is where all the action was.
Regardless, I don’t know what the outcome was. There were a bunch of police cars on the bridge, and a water ambulance down below, along with some cops on these emergency jet ski looking things, and cops mingling all over the bridge. But I never saw a “jumper,” so I don’t know if they actually jumped, or if they were thwarted or what. Looking down, though, was chilling. No matter how badly I wanted to die I don’t think I would ever have the guts to toss myself from that high. And yes, if you were wondering, I had to walk the rest of the way to school. But I got there on time.