Bridge of Sighs

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Every day he would see the tourists, catching photographs of the bridge, muttering under their breath, ‘It was in Harry Potter, wasn’t it’, or maybe ‘There is another in Cambridge’, or maybe they would point to the small alleyway, towards the Turf Tavern. It is a quirky bar that one: ‘an education in intoxication’, as their slogan goes, with all their signs about Bob Hawke, a previous Australian minister, who drank a yard of beer in under twelve seconds. Or the height of the ceiling, by the bar, bashing a few skulls, while they laugh about the words above the corner saying ‘Duck or Grouse’.

Maybe a tour guide, would lead them under waving hands as they point to it, then pausing while all the cameras flash. Next leading them to the Bodleian Library, or the Science museum, or the theatre and even the College grounds caught in the wind and scattered through the ages into the grounds of the place.

He never really liked them, the tourists. They were always in the way, he thought.

The bridge itself, was an old one: 1914, in a large English city, that was when the war started, it seems amazing that it managed to survive. Then again, the entirety of Oxford is beautiful, he enjoyed looking at the stone, the masonry and beauty. The way that different lighting gave a new angle to look at the place. Sometimes he would wake at dawn or dusk just to get that view. It reminded him of his friends, when he himself, managed to go to the colleges there.

He enjoyed watching the way students bustled about, excited and ready to face the world, the sense of being invincible to the world. Youth, had the whole world ahead of them, a road wavy and uneven,  not pathed and untrodden before. For the many of them success and for others even more than that, but for some, it would go badly, the ground would shrivel and crumple beneath their feet, dropping them deeper and deeper downwards, never to re-emerge from the depths.

The man, lonely and sad, looks back to times gone by in this place he still calls home. Sighing, to no one but himself, as he gives up climbing from the depths unto which he fell.



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