When I lived in Minneapolis, I lived on campus at the University of Minnesota. I must’ve walked across the Washington Avenue Bridge a hundred or so times. About a mile north was the Tenth Avenue Bridge. I never made it up to that part of town, but I used to stop on the Washington Avenue Bridge sometimes and look over at the Tenth Avenue Bridge, off of which bridge Eric’s boyfriend had jumped to his death. Eric lived in my dorm. I didn’t know him especially well, but the day his boyfriend jumped Eric came into my room in a dazed mess and played absently with the junk on top of my dresser. I didn’t know what had happened, just that Eric was being numb and strange.
Just immediately north of the Tenth Avenue Bridge there is, or now was, a bridge carrying the interstate. Rush hour today, it just fell. Into the water. Just like that.
How completely unreal it is to think that something like that still happens. It reminds me of the story that my old boss Bethany told me, about when she had her first baby. She was getting out of the hospital the next day or the day after that, whenever it was, and she saw the husband of a woman whom she had met in the waiting room of the OB/GYN, a woman about in the same stage of pregnancy, a woman she’d chatted with a few times. She asked the husband after the woman, only to be told that she had died during childbirth. Bethany just immediately burst into tears. That sort of thing didn’t happen anymore, did it?
But these things still do. It’s hard to process these random, deadly things.