Thursday, April 8, 2010

Writers Workshop - Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

Mama's Losin' It

8th April 2010

Ok, so for the past week or so I have been a bit down in the dumps. The 6th anniversary of my Mum's death is the 8th of April (today), and I haven't been taking it well. I never do. Mum's birthday is on the 9th March, so the entire Month from then to her anniversary is a pretty bad one for me. I have tried to stay away from here, as much as possible, and away from writing full stop actually. Because everything I have written these past few days has been tainted with a dash of the 'I'm-depressed-feel-sorry-for-me's', and I didn't want that to translate through to this blog.

That said, from this day forth, I swear on the Bible there will be, as Mum would say, "No More Blubbering!" And I think Mama Kat's - Writers Workshop, is a perfect way for me to begin. So let's do it!

I WAS going to pick this prompt. 2.) What book captured your heart? Write about why the first book you loved is the first book you loved. However, I considered the fact that the post would probably be 5000 words long, and filled with my inner-critic's pretentious grandstanding. Along with many big words. Like A LOT. So I thought I'd save you all my preposterous anal-ness, and I went with this one...

5.) Where does that fear come from? Write about something that frightens you that other people might find ridiculous. Write about it in a poem, a story, or whatever.

Okay. Here goes...

I am deathly afraid of DRIVING over bridges that are above water.

There. I said it. Phew!

Normal bridges don't bother me. Give me a huge structure, 10 stories high, and I'll trundle across it without a problem. But stick a trickle of water underneath it, a minuscule flow; and I am reduced to an infant, curled into foetal position, sucking her thumb and crying for her Mummy. 

(Oh, and I can WALK across a bridge, jetty/pier or whatever, with water underneath it without a problem. Hmm... Go figure.)

My original fear stems from when I was a child, early teen actually, and my Mum, two brothers and I were caught in a storm driving home from the local 'Trash and Treasure' market.

There was a short bridge that we had to cross on the way out that had a small river running underneath it.

It had never bothered me previously, but on this particular day, it was raining fiercely, and the river had swollen to the point of bursting it's banks. Unfortunately that also meant that it had risen above the level of the bridge, and water was washing rapidly across it.

The bridge, being so tiny, didn't have guard rails, so crossing it at the best of times was an unnerving experience.

This particular day, it was terrifying.

We had a small car, and started out slowly. I think that was our mistake.

The water rushed across underneath our tires, caught the car, and we sailed from one side of the bridge to the other. Luckily for us, the bridge DID have raised edges and that stopped us from being washed over the rim into the water. I was shit-scared that we were going to be swept away and drowned, stuck in the car, unable to climb free.

Mum revved the car, water lapping against tires trying desperately to find purchase on the slippery wood. I was holding my breath, willing the car off the bridge. FINALLY it took, and we were headed for the end in a hurry.

It felt like forever, but I'm sure the whole episode took only 30 seconds or so. We stopped on the other side, Mum and the boys were a bit shaky. But me... I was a mess. It shook me to the very core.

Ever since that day, I have been petrified of driving over bridges with bodies of water underneath them, no matter how big or small. I will drive for hours out of my way, to avoid crossing one. Ridiculous I know, but I just can't help myself.

Oh... And I'm also absolutely TERRIFIED of clowns. But that's a story for another day!


  1. That would definitely scare anyone!!!

    I am so sorry about the loss of your mother. I am just glad that advice she gave you lives on.

  2. I remember a similar situation that was scary coming home from Cedar Point on the causeway during a storm. I think it's the storm part that scares me more than the bridge part though. You're the second one I've come across so far that is also afraid of clowns!

    Visiting from Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. I chose this prompt too!

  3. That's a perfectly rational fear if you ask me. I'd be scared, too. I had a similar experience with a road that was on a mountain and the edge of the road was a sheer drop off. My parents would drive the road at speed and I just remember hiding so I didn't have to have and actual visual to go with the visions of sailing to my death at the bottom of the mountain.

    Oh...and I have a phobia of clowns, too.

  4. Ahhh! Me too! Bridges - I have to know exactly how to get myself and my two children out of their carseats if we plunge down into the water. It's not such a huge fear because I live in the state of a lovely bridge collapase (like 30 miles from my house) where many many people were killed and I've been scared ever since.
    And clowns, seriously, WTF? How are those things supposed to be funny and bring joy to children? Shudder!

  5. Me too! Even more afraid of walking over those bridges. Paralyzes me actually.

  6. Get out of here. Bridges and clowns. Interesting. I have seen those on some other pages today. I think they are the most common ones!

    I am sorry about the loss of your Mom. I can't imagine how sad that must be. I will keep you in my thoughts today.

  7. Well, I'm glad you listed some favorite books for me on my blog! I was super-impressed with myself on how short I kept the book portion of my post.

    Then again, the previous portion was ridiculous. So I guess it doesn't really count. :P

  8. That is indeed scary. Crossing any such structure when you can't see it is scary. How do you feel about crossing the bridge in a blizzard?

    Thanks for dropping by.

  9. I don't blame you for being scared. We lived in the San Francisco area for 8 years, and I always hated driving on the double decker bridges. I was always afraid another big earthquake would hit and collapse the bridges like in 1989. Yikes. scary stuff. My daughter hates clowns too.

  10. yea i have this same fear and this would have been the one i chose but the other is easier for me to write on.Talking about my fears is never easy for me it means i have to admit i'm scared of something. LOL i'm not good at that i hope you have a great day

  11. oh man, I'd be scared to *drive* ever again if that ever happened to me! I can totally see why you would fear driving over bridges with water underneath especially since cars are like giant death traps if anything were to happen.

  12. Wow! I don't blame you for being scared. ISn't it funny how those things that were so scary when we were younger stick with us, no matter how irrational they may seem later on. Would it help to have a life jacket handy in the car for times you have to cross a bridge? wink

  13. wow i would be so scared of bridges after that, too! my mom hates bridges over water as well, though she's never mentioned why.

  14. Ok, finally, someone has hit on my fear. I HATE bridges! Ugh! Your post was great! And the picture of the submerged car is enough to keep me off bridges for a while!

    I'm sorry about your mom. May is a bad month for us. We lost my mother-in-law and my dad last September. Their birthdays are in May. I wish I could just go to sleep and wake up in June.

  15. Ohhh I hate bridges too! Great to look at but to walk over...NO WAY!!

    Sorry to hear about your mum! I can't imagine it! I hope you have a TON of memories of her, enough to keep you company for a lifetime!! ((((HUGS)))))

  16. Thanks Guys, for all your nice comments, and well wishes about my Mum.

    I appreciate you all!

    Mwah x x x


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