- Vol. 06
- Chapter 01
Build Your Own Bridges
Some people don’t understand that not everyone wants to be led; sometimes you need to find your own path forward. If that path leads to ruin, then it leads to ruin. At least it was you who forged it, not some arbitrary commonplace notion of what’s right and what's normal, implemented by God knows who and who knows when.
People just love having any excuse to turn their noses up, saying things like, “Why is there a lighthouse in the middle of the town and not by the water? A lighthouse over there won’t be leading any boats to shore.”
How do you explain anything to a person with such a closed mind as that?
To outsiders, ours was a community that shouldn’t have worked so well, but it did. A hodgepodge of the fundamentals of most towns – houses, walls, a bridge, distant mountain peaks – though not necessarily ordered in the fashion one might expect. Houses were scattered, walls unfinished, as was the bridge. Our nearest mountain was pink, not green.
Outsiders never understood it, but that’s only because they didn’t really try.
In a normal town, bridges are finished so that people don’t fall off, and can get to where they are going, allowing you to cross over things like a body of water with little effort. In our quirky little town you had the option of stepping on a bridge and getting absolutely nowhere, or else going to the last place you’ll ever go. It was placed right over the deepest part of the ocean, so really, it would have been quite a feat finishing it at all, if we were that way inclined (which we were not). Perhaps you could have extended it hundreds of miles to the next island over, but, like I said before, we’re just not that way inclined.
Build Your Own Bridges
That’s exciting, don’t you think? In a conventional town, you’d never be missing a local greengrocer because one day he decided to walk the unfinished footbridge to completion. In a normal town, if the greengrocer fell off one of those regular bridges (yaaaawn) everyone would be crying and sad.
Mourning. How boring.
Here, we accept that this was the path the greengrocer forged for himself. So what if we hadn’t had access to vegetables for weeks now? So what if the greengrocer so happened to be my father?
I’ll admit, I did feel a little sad at first, despite myself, but then an outsider asked if I’d miss him and if I was sad about it and that it was terrible business, wasn’t it? They actually said they were sorry, can you believe it? I refuse to accept sympathy from such a person.
I pulled myself together, told them no and spat in their face, and that scared them right off. I pulled myself together, no more tears, no more sadness.
Because that would make me just like them.