The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

It was an unremarkable day. In retrospect, that was one of the strangest things about it. I was walking across the bridge to get to work, as I’ve done thousands of times. The sun was out. I had no plans, really. Think “status quo.” And then I saw movement out of the corner of my …

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It happened again the other day. Someone saw me crossing my bridge on the elevated catwalk and called 911, thinking I was a jumper. This always amuses me. Do I look that miserable going to work? Because I’m not. I happen to love my job. But in order to avoid disrupting the traffic while going …

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The other day I witnessed something awful. I was working on the Fremont Bridge here in Seattle. It’s 30 feet off the water. Right next to it is the Aurora Bridge, which is 170 feet off the water. Before they put up the higher railing on the Aurora Bridge, the only bridge in the world …

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Recently someone I love very much told me that she had attempted suicide a couple of times in the past year. This broke my heart because I had no idea she was suffering in silence. Having struggled with depression my whole life, I know what it’s like to want to throw off that thick blanket …

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This happened on the bridge on my day off. Thank God. Two bridgetenders were standing on the catwalk outside our tenderhouse when they looked down to the street level and saw a man vault himself over the railing and plunge 40 feet into the rapidly flowing, extremely deep river below. A woman who witnessed this …

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When you work on a drawbridge, you’re sometimes a silent witness to some really tragic events. No one tells you that when you take the job. On the bigger bridges you’ll get jumpers. Occasionally one will survive and 100 percent of those will say they regretted their action the second they jumped, which says a …

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