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Posted by Somebody's Mother on 4:43 PM
Bridge Blues Revisited In the Darkest Month of the Year
Ah, January, the month that weighs in on those of us who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). For the light-starved among us, January makes us really, really…well, sad. Christmas is over, the coloured lights are coming down and springs is more weeks away than I want to think about.
No matter. This Monday, I trudged into the car and turned the key in a cavalier fashion. I hummed along to the music on my speakers until I hit the traffic. It was déjà vu of the most horrible, horrible kind. What did I see before me? The College Street Bridge had one lane closed again.
You see, as the school term came to a close and as I knew that the January blues would hit me in two short weeks along with the long-term indigestion of too much holiday feasting, there was a small hope on the horizon, the hope of a two lane bridge and the five minute drive to work that I had known and loved for the past ten years.
Yes, I have cast my eyes heavenward and asked God to give the world peace, to release those who were kidnapped and to keep an eye out for my aged parents. It just seemed to be a teeny-tiny bit presumptuous to ask the Supreme Ruler of the universe and the Creator of all things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, to expedite the repair of one small bridge. That would seem a trifle selfish and piddley considering the weightier questions that exist in this complicated world.
Yet, surely at this point in time, I have reached traffic hell in the middle of January and nothing short of a bona fide miracle will bring about the completion of that bridge and the triumphant moment (cue the orchestra!) when the nice men in hard hats pack up their equipment and go away, very far away.
Unfortunately, my public kvetching is earning me a link with that bridge that might stay with me for years. People greet me and say, “How do you like the bridge? It’s almost finished.” Age, willpower and my mother’s stern upbringing helps me to refrain from saying, “Are you crazy? Almost doesn’t count!”
Last week, when both lanes were open, my husband warned me not to get too excited. He pointed out the equipment on the side of the road and the covered signs. In my heart of hearts, I knew that he was right. I knew that the construction workers were on holiday and that in a matter of days, the signs would be uncovered, and the equipment would be back sitting idle in a closed lane while I sat swearing in my car waiting for the one open lane to move.
Yet I had an unrealistic hope that the work was finished and that they just didn’t have time to take their equipment away. In my little fantasy, on January 9th, they would just bring all kinds of trucks that they would schlep the equipment up and into, and go off singing something like, “Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it’s off to Tadoussac, we go.” Then they would drive away and all this construction work would be a dark memory.
Ah, January, it leaves you no illusions. Once the temperate January thaw is over, we will descend into the deep freeze and those poor guys will just have to work a bit faster. Ha-Ha, did you hear me, boys, faster!
Meanwhile, I hope that my car doesn’t stall in the middle of that one open lane. Then those construction workers might be using the same sort of strong language about me that I’ve been using to describe them.

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