I walk down the stone and dirt path towards the abandoned train bridge. The moonlight is guiding my way down the path as I head to my hideaway spot, so I can look down at the flowing river underneath. The beer cans are clicking and clacking as I walk down the path towards my destination. I am alone, allowing me to fully take in the moment. I walk out to the middle of the bridge and sit down. The sky is filled with millions of stars engulfing the night’s mysterious nature and the moon is its yellow self, pulsating an aura that just captivates your senses.
I sit there on top of this train bridge watching the world pass me by. I sit back trying to understand why I was brought into this world and why I just cannot relate to anyone. I crack open a beer, take a sip, then another and get comfortable, because I just want to be alone and hide from everyone.
The Raritan River is flowing higher than usual tonight, but the sound of the current eases my soul as the water splashes up against the pilings. I start to cry, because I am feeling so lost, scared, and angry. I take another sip, then another. My mind is full.
I look across the river as I am sitting atop of this bridge in the middle of the river in between two towns. Bound Brook is to my right and South Bound Brook is to my left and I sit there watching, listening, wishing, hoping, dreaming, and there I ponder my future. Will I survive the night? Will I keep fighting? Will I jump? Will I give up on my stance, just walk away, and say screw it and disappear? And, so it goes on in my head.
First beer complete, crack open the second and take a sip, then another. The Raritan River is playing a song for me. A song of silence and calm as if the river knows I’m hurting inside and wants to ease my pain. I hear no pounding, no yelling, no screaming, no music, no people rambling and rambling on and on about whatever vice has the grasp on them for the night. I don’t see any arguments, fights, dirty looks, intimidation advances, the good guys or the bad guys. I am alone on top of this bridge wondering why I am here and why I cannot relate to anyone.
Today, this bridge is no longer there, nor is the GAF Industrial Manufacturing Company that sat along the canal. This was my father’s and his father’s time, a booming time for business; one needed to have gunpowder and lead in the blood. I often wondered about how they survived through those times from time to time. Endless moments of fishing and 4 wheeling along the Raritan River and Canal Road are long gone, but the memories will remain until my dusty bones fly away.
Both my grandparents are buried next to one another in that area and eventually, I will take a drive to go and have a talk with them. I will leave a cigar for my grandfather (Buster) and flowers for my grandmother (Violet). And there I will sit and have a long conversation and/ or cry. One thing for certain is that it will be emotional, and as I drive through the town and see how the world caught up, memories will flood my heart.