Near where I live there’s a viaduct,
Where people jump when they’re out of luck,
Raining down on the cars and trucks below.
They’ve put a net there to catch their fall,
Like that’ll stop anyone at all,
What they don’t know is when nature calls, you go.
when you take the eastern half of the bloor-danforth line subway for the first time (presumably to the university of toronto), and pass on the underside of the bloor street viaduct over bayview avenue (on its west side) and the don valley parkway (at the east) and the rosedale ravine, there’s something that makes you gaze in awe and wonder at the sight over a hundred feet below you
it’s not the same kind of awe that you feel when you’re standing over a thousand feet above the ground in the cn tower, the viaduct is much more intimate — there, nature is situated side-by-side with the work of humans as you travel over a feat of engineering — there’s an almost primal draw from the ground below you
over time, you learn to suppress the wonder and bury your nose in your book or your thoughts as you pass over the viaduct, but every once in a while it calls to you and you turn your attention to it
on thursday night, i took the subway home from the university, as i’ve done hundreds of times before
this time i decided to stop at castle frank and walk across the bloor street viaduct, to broadview
when i exited castle frank station and was crossing a street to the viaduct a homeless man was also crossing the street from the other side and was asking motorists for some change
after crossing the street i noticed a park with a concrete circular seating arrangement, trees, and carefully tended pink flowers — the park was strewn with garbage as well, the concrete seat spray-painted with useless graffiti
as i approached the bridge i noticed a sign that said “distress centre” and had a number and a guarantee that they listen twenty-four hours a day, beneath the sign was a telephone booth (ironically the number they gave wasn’t toll free) — across the street was a similar sign and phone booth
once i started walking across the bridge, i noticed the barrier they had put up to prevent people from jumping, steel rods spaced close to each other so that they would prevent most people from slipping through … i also noticed that if someone truly wanted to circumvent the barrier and plummet to their death it wasn’t difficult
it’s easiest at the east side of the viaduct, because the don valley parkway is close to the end of the bridge (on the west side, bayview is a bit further from the end of the bridge) … it is at the end of the bridge that you can climb onto the stone and get around the barrier and holding onto the steel rods inch your way across until you’re above the don valley parkway, and then let go
you could do the same with bayview but, as i said, it’s further away from the end of the bridge
after walking the half kilometre, i reached broadview — there was a pizza pizza there and i purchased a slice
then i went home
They say that Jesus and mental health
Are just for those who can help themselves,
But what good is that when you live in hell on earth?
And the very fear that makes you want to die,
Is just the same as what keeps you alive.
It’s way more trouble than some suicide is worth.
Won’t it be dull
When we rid ourselves of all these demons haunting us
To keep us company?
Won’t it be odd
To be happy like we always thought we’re supposed to feel
But never seem to be?
- “War on Drugs,” Barenaked Ladies