Monday, July 18, 2011

Forget San Francisco, I Left My Heart on the Bay Bridge

bay bridge in the fogI know it’s not really him.  The same way Munchkinhead knows its not really Daddy Bunny that Gibby’s talking to.  He is, after all, 160,000+ tons of concrete and steal.  Hardly your normal source of excellent conversation.  But when the Bay Bridge tweets, he’s so much more than rock and metal.  He’s a conversationalist, a humorist, a warning system for bad traffic or weather, a friend.

There are tons of non-human entities on twitter.  Companies, buildings, weather elements.  There’s a whole bunch of accounts simply for getting around the Bay Area: @kcbstraffic, @SFBART, @CalTrain, @RideACT, @SF_CableCar, etc.  But by far ,the best is @SFBayBridge.

He’s up on current events, “I wonder how many times the length of my span the combined Harry Potter lines in San Francisco and Oakland are.”   
Talks to other structures, “@searstower Oh no, lightning's never a good way to wake up! Though I can't even rest through it, with so many towers it could choose to hit.” 
And, when something goes wrong on the bridge, it upsets him.  He doesn’t want anyone hurt or disgruntled because of delays.  “But as much as 405 is a jerk, I'm happy for him that his lanes reopened early. Being closed when you know people need you is a bad feeling.”

I’ve always liked the Bay Bridge more than his little sister the Golden Gate. Perhaps it’s because I’m not much of fan for the glamorous. Or maybe I just have a special affinity for the oldest child.   Yet, I still approached the Bay Bridge with fear and trepidation. Whether driving myself or as a passenger in a car or bus, I would get nervous. Pictures from 1989 would flash through my head. Memories of last year’s S-curve incident in which a truck plunged off the bridge into the icy bay would create quivers in my tummy. All I wanted was to get over that bridge and back onto solid ground as fast as I could. But things are different now.

Now, when the toll booth beeps and grants me permission to proceed onto the bridge, I am all smiles.  I’m content with whatever lane I’m in, happy to be on the bridge, enjoying the view and the fresh air high in the sky.  As I proceed up the incline, my tires rolling over the smooth pavement, I do not think about trying to get around the car in front of me, or how far down the water is.  I think, “hello bridge, how are you today?  It’s nice to come visit you again.”  Sometimes, I even let him know I’m coming to visit; he always says “hi” back.  

Yes, talking with the Bay Bridge on Twitter has directly affected my actions. I drive more carefully now, not wanting to cause any harm or create concerns for him, this bridge, my friend.

No comments: