“Rain Bridge”

22:55 Sun 31 Mar 2013
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The rhythm of the drive over the bridge was different. The tempo was similar to that of any slow day, but torrential rain an hour earlier had added a new beat.

Now each segment of the bridge imposed its full three dimensions on those crossing: road hiding the bay below and ceiling hiding the sky above, struts and emptiness and landscapes to the left and right, and curtains of water to the front and back.

Passing from one segment to another meant moving through artificial downpour, collected on the upper level and channelled to the outbound lanes. Every few hundred feet, staccato bursts peppered each car.

The weather provided grey light, the view made hazier by the spray from car wheels and gradated by the falling water between the bridge segments. The hues of cars were muted, reduced to dull blobs instead of the usual contrasts in color. A subdued red predominated, supplied by thousands of brake lights.

In the tunnel, there was less light but also less haze, and the cars were sharper, their colors overwhelmed by the orange from the lighting. Orange and red and black each staked a claim to the view.

Once through the tunnel, the demarcation between segments resumed, softer, a mild spatter rather than an angry beating. The journey shifted back to the routine, water yielding its claim on attention to lane markings, traffic patterns, and the question of time.

Then the bridge was past, the rain gone, and destination once more the focus.

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