Monday, October 8, 2012

i don't love the Golden Gate

I'm the misanthrope here to dispel any notion of romance about the Golden Gate bridge. Yesterday on a brief break from my grueling pathophysiology studies I decided to go for a run to Fort Miley. From there, as depicted in the above photo, you get a nice view of the GG bridge. It lured me, calling out, "hey, you've never walked/ran across me; why not give it a try right now?" and so I obeyed the call and turned the 5 mile run into a 12 mile one. The bridge is iconic and I should have realized just how annoying this would be before running to, and across, this lovely feat of engineering. The bridge itself is quite beautiful, and despite my lethargy and exhaustion from days of graduate school coursework, I was uplifted as I got closer to the bridge, seeing its architecture and grace. Then, something happened. I got close enough to be around the thousands of others who wanted to get on this thing, and I started to hate people. I couldn't stop thinking about how gross human babies are, and how much humans resemble bovine creatures in large herds. People were moving too slow. Moms were taking up too much space with their strollers. Next, I let my imagination get the better of me, and I recalled the conversation from the previous night with my friend Jodi who has lived here in SF for years. She told me that approximately 1 person per week kills him/herself by jumping off this bridge. God! I was suddenly obsessed with the thought of seeing someone jump over the railing. I was kind of freaking out. All of a sudden I wanted off the bridge. Right now! but I had to turn around and run back, and it's no small bridge, let me tell you. The final bummer came when I realized, at the moment when I was trying to block out all human interaction, that running across the GG bridge is not unlike running next to an 8 lane freeway. It's trafficky, loud, and paved. Unless you get right up to the really scary edge of the railing (where people jump!) you don't see much except cars and pavement. So, running back home I was glad to find/remember/acknowledge that the gorgeous trail through the Sea Cliff area of SF, and the views across the bay, along with the eucalyptus, the cypress, the sound of the crashing waves, the soaring birds.... all things that are readily enjoyable without thousands of humans... will always be there, and that I don't have to cross the damn bridge to experience them. Also, it was one of my faster runs ever, thanks, i believe, to the desire I felt to get the hell away from all of the bridge lovers, moms, cars, and potential jumpers.


Foulweather said...

This is a pretty moving documentary about suicides from the GG Bridge. Fascinating interviews with survivors...

surf: karmic voyager said...

ewwww... it creeps me out just thinking about it. i'll watch it though. thanks for the link!
i think i'm more afraid of heights than i previously thought, because i get clammy hands now just thinking about running across that bridge.