Wednesday, November 14, 2007


John drove as fast as he could to Suicide Bridge (an eerily appropriate name) and parked a few feet away, not even bothering to lock his door. The bridge itself was constructed from now-weathered stone, and it was situated sixty feet above a lake.

Lake Suicide (this was a very uncreative town) was ridiculously shallow, littered with jagged rocks that pointed upward, as if a thousand stone fingers were flipping off the heavens. Rumor had it that the lake was also inhabited by man-eating monsters, though this claim was never proven, except once, when two men on a fishing trip were mysteriously eaten.

John got out of his car and walked slowly, deliberately to the center of the bridge, a look of grim determination now etched onto his perpetually scowling face. He stared down thoughtfully into the abyss below, black water pounding violently against the numerous rocks.

“I always knew my death would be the result of jumping off a bridge. That fortune cookie really nailed it,” he mused.

As he leaned over the edge and prepared to leap, a familiar voice interrupted his thinking.

“John! Hey John, what are you doing? Going swimming? Can I come too? I love swimming! As long as the water doesn’t go above my ankles, I mean. Then I get scared,” said Bill, cheerfully unaware of John’s intentions.

“No Bill, I’m not going swimming. I’m about to kill myself, and I’ll thank you to let me die in peace,” explained John.

“You’re gonna kill yourself?!” exclaimed Bill, alarmed. “You can’t do that! You’re the only person who’s ever been nice to me!”

“Nice to you? I haven’t been nice to you! I broke your nose last week!” argued John, perplexed and frustrated.

“But you also taught me to believe in myself,” said Bill.

“No I didn’t,” said John venemously.

“Oh, right. Well you still can’t kill yourself, John. It’s just like my mom used to say: ‘Life is like a box of exploding tissues. You can wipe your nose with them, but then they’ll explode, and you’ll be in pain, and it’ll be much worse than just having to wipe your nose, so you’re really better off not using them at all, since they do more harm than good,’” said Bill.

John stared blankly at Bill for a few seconds.

“I’m so confused I can’t do it anymore. Thanks Bill. You stopped me from making a big mistake. I’ve never known anyone who cared so much about me before,” said John. “But I have to ask: how did you get here so quickly? I was driving the whole time, and you didn’t have a car.”

Bill began loudly counting a flock of passing birds, and John decided to drop the subject. Abandoning his car for no reason at all, he and Bill walked home. Despite all their differences, there was no denying that John and Bill were now officially friends.

“Let’s get one thing straight, Bill: I may be walking home with you, but we’re only friends on a completely unofficial basis.”

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