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Fall-like weather during this Summer day on this walkway across the Hudson. That gigantic red, white, and blue flag waves in the wind. The American Dream is for people who don’t always have nightmares. The well-adjusted people walk at a leisurely pace with their dogs. The air has the taste of brackish salt. Those friendly animals get happy with their tails wagging to their left when I look at them. If only I could just pet them and not talk to the owners. The sun hangs in the sky. The sparrows and robins make their chirps. Lonely, oh so lonely. I just can’t deal with people much. A lot of people here.

The railing along the bridge looks low. I could jump off, back to the water and facing the bridge. Better walk in the center and stop looking off the edge. That would be a painful way to go. If I jumped, I probably wouldn't die. Someone would press that mental health intercom for the coast guard to pick up my mangled live body. Heroin or cyanide is probably a much better way to go. That old man leaning on the railing could be pushed over to his death.

I don’t want to do any of that. My mother will miss me. My old sponsor in AA told me suicide is the most selfish thing I could possibly do. I am no murderer. God please help me—I don’t deserve this. No one does. I've been told by professionals and non-professionals alike that I should not walk here, but this place has such allure. On one hand, I feel part of the crowd; on another, I keep getting these thoughts. Look down and count to three… maybe it is better to count to twenty. I’ve had too much excitement for one day. There’s danger to this place. But it’s a beautiful life. I see the green flora of the mountains and the shimmer of the river’s water on the horizon with the many-story buildings of Poughkeepsie nestled in the trees along the Hudson. It looks like a realist painting of a humble utopia.

Bio:
Frederick Frankenberg is a recent graduate with a BA in Creative Writing and an AS in Engineering.
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