Thursday, August 16, 2007

On Driving 35W North

If you follow US news at all, you probably heard of the bridge collapse in Minnesota recently. That happened about a mile south of where Erik and I used to live off of Broadway St. when we worked at the University of Minnesota. I always hated that bridge, the ka-thunk, ka-thunk sound it made when you crossed it.

Today I had to drive north on 35W to get to Como Zoo, so it was on my mind. I passed under a bridge south of it that looked a bit worn, and for a second I had a palpable yet irrational fear that it would drop on us. This thought had never crossed my mind before the accident of course. As I got closer to the collapse I had a mixed sense of sadness and community, like I was drawn into the experience of the people around me who were just as likely to have been on that bridge as those who were. When tragedies like that happen, the media often focuses on how neighbors and strangers come to the aid of victims, in a way that shows pride and an element of surprise. Why should we be surprised? I think that the day no one responds to someone else's pain will mark the end of humanity.

So anyway, I wondered how I might feel getting closer to that, and now you know. Tomorrow we may actually get close enough to see it when we go to downtown Minneapolis.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

i just realized i never visited the bridge collapse site before i left