Sitting on the bridge at night

Coming home late at night from the supermarket, I saw the sign lit up to say “Bridge Closed.” I drove across Pope’s Island and pulled in behind a pickup truck stopped at the bridge, and turned off my engine. Damp cool air came up off the harbor. The driver of the truck in front of me turned off his or her engine. A few cars pulled in behind me.

To my right, I could hear the faint sound of a radio being played in one of the cars in the right-hand lane. To my left, I could hear two crickets chirping somewhere in Captain Leroy’s Marina. I don’t think I have ever heard crickets on Pope’s Island before. Usually, the sounds of traffic on the four lanes of U.S. Route 6 drown out most other sounds.

The bridge began to swing back. We all waited. I could hear two young women chatting and laughing in a car behind mine. A faint cool breeze blew in the window of the car. The crickets suddenly began chirping a little faster.

At last the gates blocking the bridge went up, we all started up our engines, the light turned green, we surged forward and were gone.