Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.
[P.S. There is no Interim.]
Just this side of the Kosciusko Bridge on-ramp from the LIE to the BQE is a stream of cars. Just that side is a field. A field of markers. Marble. Granite. Different types of stone.
But the occupants of the field are certainly not stone. Or are they really occupants? Indeed, the souls have gone on. They do not run and play in this field. This morbid, yet serene ground. It would be odd. They run and play in the meadows and hills of the Interim. It’s this side of the Kosciusko Bridge. It’s not in Queens, yet not in Brooklyn. Not in Heaven, nor in Hell. It’s this side of the Rainbow Bridge, but not quite there. The animals have the hills and meadows there. The animals have more fun.
These guys chatter and tell stories. They do play, but it’s cards and backgammon in the meadow. They hike the hills, but do not need hiking poles. Their ailments are no more. Their frailties are no more. Their virility and agility have returned, nay, has been strengthened.
They are all waiting for the day they will cross the Kosciusko. Yet they do not know they are waiting. Then they would be upset, and that would miss the point of not worrying about anything.
There is no time in the Interim.
Backgammon lasts forever. But that is okay. The doubling cube goes to infinity. But that is okay.
The stories do not last for minutes or hours, they last for centuries. But that is okay.
Kosciusko is not in sight, nor does it need to be. Again, it would make the people upset that they cannot reach it. They are content to wait in the traffic of souls in the Interim.
But one day, when the NYSDOT repaves the highway, repaves the Kosciusko Bridge, they will move along. Where they’ll go, we do not know. Not Brooklyn. That would also be odd. Really, how often does one see people running and playing in Brooklyn?
Perhaps they once owned a pet. They will be reunited with him or her in the meadows and hills just this side of the Rainbow Bridge. We know what happens then.
But perhaps they were not pet owners? It’s certainly possible that they actually will go over the Kosciusko to Brooklyn. Or perhaps just reverse course and go to Queens. That’s more likely. Queens. A continuation of an Interim period. Time does not exist. Can not exist. Not for those who are on this and that side of the Kosciusko Bridge onramp.
We can’t all cross together. Traffic jam. Time jam.
–NYSDOT Worker #42817–
Donnie Boman is the winner of the Ohio Edit Internet Empathy Writing Contest. Donnie has been through Kosciusko, MS. But not on any bridges there.