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Monday, September 19, 2005

before we all go under

Almost exactly ten years ago today, I was walking across the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga with my mother and brother. I remember it only vaguely, but I recall the weather being a perfect mix of sunshine and a crisp, cool breeze. My brother and I had been arguing (nothing out of the ordinary there), and he and my mother were walking up ahead of me on the way back across to the car.

As I straggled behind, I noticed an ordinary-looking woman sitting on one of the benches that faced out to the river. She was crying. She was just sitting there with tears pouring down her face, but she wasn't wiping them away or trying to hide in any way. At the same time, she wasn't sobbing or doing anything to draw attention to herself. She was just having a good, hearty cry right there on the Walnut Street Bridge.

I wanted to say something, do something, anything to help, but I couldn't. There was nothing I could say or do that would help. This was one of the first events that put the voice in my head that pops in and reminds me, "You can't save the world."

But I want to save the world.

I wanted to help. But it wasn't my place. And I was helpless, too.

Today, walking across the Woodland Street Bridge, I marveled at how no passers-by could help me today, just as I couldn't help that woman then. It's funny how that works out sometimes. And that's okay. You can't save the world.

[Me, me, me, me, me. I sound like such a brat.]

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posted by Jennifer at 9/19/2005 05:23:00 PM



11 comments:
Blogger The Kraken said...

Why were you crying on the bridge?

9/20/2005 08:40:00 AM  



Blogger Jennifer said...

I live ze unknown, I love ze unknown, I am ze unknown. Zat is unknown... I don't know.

But seriously, though (for those of you who aren't Kentucky Fried Movie fans), I'm fine today. Life is good.

9/20/2005 10:06:00 AM  



Blogger The Kraken said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/20/2005 12:18:00 PM  



Blogger Jennifer said...

Let's not mention matters of work here, dahling.

9/20/2005 12:32:00 PM  



Blogger The Kraken said...

I've been deleted! Who knew?

9/20/2005 03:49:00 PM  



Blogger Tickles_Tapeworm said...

What's our daughter doing, Honey?

She's frying the cat in pure Wesson Oil.

9/21/2005 04:51:00 AM  



Blogger Tickles_Tapeworm said...

You just need more Olde English 800. You start your morning with a cool, crisp 40 of 8 ball, and you'll just say "Fuck it". And there's nothing wrong with just saying "Fuck it" sometimes.

9/21/2005 04:57:00 AM  



Blogger Jennifer said...

Although, so far there's no known treatment for death's crippling effects, still everyone can acquaint himself with the three early warning signs of death: one, rigor mortis; two, a rotting smell; three, occasional drowsiness.

9/21/2005 07:51:00 AM  



Blogger Penny said...

I wish you would tell us why you cry. We are so in love with your tears and yet you do not share.. and we are left loving you, unrequitted.

9/22/2005 06:30:00 PM  



Blogger Jennifer said...

Aw, dear sweet Penny. You are a peach. Possibly, one day I will be able to communicate more effectively. But for now, just know that I'm fine and tear-free. :^)

9/23/2005 11:51:00 AM  



Blogger Tickles_Tapeworm said...

Cause you drank some 8 Ball? I bet it was the 8 Ball...

9/23/2005 11:51:00 PM  



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