One man's journey over a bridge.
|A Little Less Bridge
That old Golden Gate bridge, a crossing point for so many cars and trucks over the years. Since 1937 it became a crossing not only for vehicles, but for souls as well. Eleven construction workers died during its construction, so I guess you could say they were the first to cross over.
2,300 lawsuits tried to prevent its construction, yet it survived all of that regardless and a celebration of its construction brought forth a crowd of 100.000 people.
Three months after its opening a man by the name of H.B. Wobber was the first to commit suicide by jumping off of the bridge. It took four seconds traveling at 75 miles per hour for him to hit the icy waters. Since then people from all over the world travel there just to take the same leap. One person in less than every three weeks take that dive.
Orson stumbled down the bridges walkway, tears unnoticeable in the dark night air. He was sick and suffering ... tired of fighting, of doctors and he had the convenience of living near the bridge, only three miles from it in fact. So he decided that night, the ninth of September, to take the walk he'd been thinking about for nearly a year.
Down the steps of his apartment with flask in pocket he trotted off into the night. He had just finished reading the Golden Gate amazing facts book he found in a used book store. Of the first 1,500 people to jump, only thirty had survived, so the odds were in his favor, he thought.
Orson passed the first 13 of 30 suicide hotline phones, not even thinking of picking one up.
He barely had enough energy to climb over the guardrail. Taking a few minutes to view the lit up skyline. He began to pray as he sat on the edge.
"Lord, you know if there was any other way I would consider it! I'm sorry for the hurt I've caused in my forty seven years. For judging others, for losing my temper and for many moments of weakness. Please forgive me and take me home to be with you ... without pain! Amen.
So he grasped his flask and gurgled down the last of the motivation left in it, removed his coat and jumped.
Somehow, Orson's belt became snagged on a construction cable that he'd failed to notice. The spool of cable began to unwind slowly and Orson, unable to free himself descended downward further and further until reaching the water. He had enough buoyancy to disconnect from the cable yet he still held onto it as it continued to unwind another 300 or so feet. The tension on the now fully uncoiled cable made his body whip back and forth as he tried to keep his head and torso above the icy waters.
"Is this some kind of cruel joke Lord?" Orson gasped repeatedly for air while choppy waves and wind currents punished him. Soon after he lost consciousness but not before slipping the end of the cable through his belt.
"Sir, we're going to get you some help" the captain of the tugboat said.
Orson spent three days in the hospital before finding out that his cancer was misdiagnosed. What the doctors thought was a tumor was just a huge African parasite that had been feeding on his intestines for nearly two years.
After the parasite was removed and Orson released, he went on to tell his story to people in churches and schools all over the Bay area to inspire them to never give up. He lived on to the ripe old age of ninety three and died comfortably in a nursing care center.