There we were, after years of talking about it, walking on that bridge to no where in the reflection of the black night. Down below, our friend swam to make sure no rocks would crack our heads open when we made the leap. Our prophecies would be fulfilled tonight and steal my dreamy sleep. There are a million ways to die and one of them is jumping off the Arboretum's 50 foot bridge to nowhere into Lake Washington. Hidden in its apparent folly is an unforeseen purpose, a connection to that human quality of quest and thrill-seeking. Gazing down, I actually thought about the possibility of death, my death to be exact, while also planning my escape. An infinite jest, or a self-inflicted lobodomy, does life fall somewhere between or does one find it in the wings? I bank on the extremes; why be normal, the bumper sticker on my car reads, a reminder. Standing on this ledge was one classic step on the ladder of life in a summery Seattle, a passage with just a sliver of a moon glinting on the rippling waters to show the way. The juice pulsed in our veins, the kind of juice that makes you spring into handstands of childhood and shiver your limbs...on the ledge, my mother appeared, she filled my empty can, my head, shook my bones, called out to me in that voice of hers, and instead of caution it summoned my youthful soul...I held your hand to steady myself, my toes curled, gripping the rough cement, afraid to break through all those walls that keep my world safe and small. Dancing soldiers circled my wandering soul, vanquished by the hot impulses of my heart. Freedom found. Wiith a yelp and arms glued to my sides, I lept and fell fell fell as fellini would immagine, surely I could not fall any more, there was no water, it would never come, i had flown up instead of down, still screaming, foreverness engulfed me, how could it take so long, my arms flew out in exasperation, and then the smacking crack of the water, the shooting pain, the water beat me to a pulp, the plunge into the murky depths, my soul alive, my head full of nonsense, smiling, alive, the heart drums pounding, the ears popping, seeing sparks of light where there were none, limbs tangled in the vines, I swayed to and fro, to and fro, which way up, my arms swirled above, bubbles escaped the gaping lungs, illusions filled my head, and up I went, piercing the surface like a fountain, inhaling the joy, body in tact, soul freed by the be here now of it all, sucking in the life, the air, that leap, finding the child inside that gets my motors going and stalls out now and again as time goes by. And as I swam backstroke slowly to shore, stroke by stroke I felt the water's cool embrace and felt the infinite jest of a thousand stars that lit my way.