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Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo

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By Richard Russo

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That the high water’s coming. ” Another kick. ” “Right. ” “No cars,” I repeated. “Got it. Calles where the streets should be. ” Our old friend. Our third musketeer from senior year of high school. Long, long gone from us. She didn’t have to tell me we hadn’t heard back. “Maybe he’s moved. ” “Why? ” I could feel my wife shrug in the dark, and feel our sense of play running aground. ” “Good,” I told her. “I’ve been born already. ” “I thought you were writing a history of Thomaston,” she said. ” she said, taking my hand again.

I remember thinking of this as an actual solution, that if I could somehow will myself into unconsciousness, then perhaps what was happening would cease by virtue of my not, in a sense, being there to witness it. While I didn’t recall putting that plan into effect, I must have, because here I was, awake again, my ordeal apparently over. Gradually I became aware of two things: time had passed, and I was alone. The sliver of light was now gone, from which I deduced that night had fallen and, from the complete silence outside the trunk, that my captors had vanished.

Marconi liked that idea but didn’t think her husband would spend the extra money, so we were all surprised when she prevailed. My mother speculated afterward that Mr. Marconi may have been swayed by the fact that St. Francis boys wore uniforms, of which he heartily approved, believing that dress impacted behavior. Cayoga Elementary had been a short block from Berman Court, but St. Francis was a half-dozen blocks farther, in the opposite direction. It was also on the other side of the Cayoga Stream, which we crossed, coming and going, by means of a narrow footbridge.

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