Gladys held on to the steering wheel tightly as she drove over the bridge. She tried to concentrate on just what was in front of her but her eyes kept being pulled to the guard rail. She had to know, she had to see, it was an obsession, a sickness of sorts. The car drifted toward the edge, as she slowed on the crest of bridge she craned her neck toward the precipice and tried to look past the concrete barrier and tall railing.
Cars blared their horns behind her and she thought she might have heard a explitive or two but she just couldn’t force herself to go any faster or even for that matter drive at all. She was frozen in time and place as she took in the depth and breadth of the sight just over the edge. Her stomach knotted and her breath came quick as she peered at the sparkling ocean far below her.
Gladys looked around and realized everyone on the bridge was looking at her. The opposing lanes were even slowing down and starring at her. She tried to down shift the little Hyundai Excel into 2nd gear but it bogged down and sputtered and died. She began rolling backwards down the steep incline of the bridge.
She jammed on the brakes and tried to get the little car going in the right direction. She knew how to drive a stick shift and wasn’t intimidated by hills but this was different. She ground the transmission into first gear and hit the starter. The little car sputter to life and jumped forward coughed and died.
Gladys sucked in a deep breath and tried again. The little car’s engine revved as she gave it all the gas she could as she tried to ease out on the clutch and move on over the bridge, but the water kept distracting her causing her to pop the clutch and die. Finally she caught the gear and moved on up the bridge to begin the descent into Coronado just in time to hear on the radio that a stalled car on the Coronado Bridge had caused a traffic jam all the way up the 5 freeway.
Gladys smiled as she eased onto Coronado Island. All of that because she never crosses a bridge that she because doesn’t look to see if there is water underneath.