I spent days awake. Thinking, planning, tossing it all out. Lather, rinse, repeat. I had many ideas but none of them stuck. Not one was good enough to stick. I wanted something destructive but not harmful. Maybe a snap decision, maybe a broken window. I'm not usually this meticulous about the destruction I cause, but I wanted this to be perfect. So I went for a walk, went all around the city, listening to people, the short clips of peoples conversation that when taken out of context are usually rather entertaining and make no sense.
I came across a couple just before I crossed the street. She was young, he was older, not old by any definition, just older. She had bright red lipstick and an infectious laugh. He looked serious, almost brooding. Dark and handsome. Cool, calm, and collected. She seemed naive. Lightly laughing before the start of every sentence. Her eyes were brown and her hair too. I didn't expect to gain any knowledge from her.
When I see people I have a nasty habit of guessing their backgrounds. She went to private school, got into college on early admission, gets any guy she wants, parents pay for it all, weekend lush, weekday model human being. He was different. Abusive parents, maybe son of an alcoholic, smart but pre-occupied, thinks too much. Like me. Then something happened that threw me off for a minute. She said just the thing I'd been looking for all these weeks. I couldn't think of it, then she said it, and she said it in just the way I needed to hear it. "Don't worry so much, we'll burn that bridge when we get to it."
I went home, having had a successful mission. I spent days gathering materials and various things I'd need. Then I took off walking again, in the opposite direction this time. I crossed a river with my pack full of supplies. I felt as if I was in the middle of nowhere. In my head I was. In reality there were people all around. By all around I mean there were four or five people in sight and several more voices around the corner. I sat and waited, my plan wasn't about to be screwed up by stoned high school kids. I waited for the darkness to come over me. Waited for the heat of the summer night to illuminate my soul.
All of a sudden it was time. I poured the gasoline, more than I'd need but I wanted to be thorough about this, I soaked the bridge. It wasn't difficult and didn't take much, the bridge was small. I stepped away and pulled out a matchbook and a cigarette and lit them in that order. I carry a lighter but matches have always been so much more satisfying to me. Once the cigarette was lit I dropped the the match, slowly and purposefully onto the bride. The adrenaline was flowing, rushing, seeping into my entire existence. I took a slow and equally purposeful drag of a Marlboro 100. The bridge went up in flames. It was the most beautiful thing I'd seen in years, since that soft christmas snow in Texas. The girl was a genius, or maybe a psychopath. I didn't care which. It was then that I realised a key fact. She hadn't meant it literally. I wish she had. I'm glad that I took it that way. I walked away from the scene with half a cigarette and not a regret in the world.