II.

One day, while the first woman and the second woman lay side by side in the sun like train tracks across the planks of the bridge, the first woman fell asleep and dreamed of the bridge. In the dream, it was filled with people filing back and forth, from either side of the canyon to either other side. She dreamt she was in one these lines. She dreamt she had legs to walk on and wait with when the line paused, as it occasionally would and presently was. She dreamt she had arms to grip and steady and found herself. In front of her in the line was an old bent man with an old bent cane. He smiled a lot, she dreamt, but didn’t say much. Standing behind the woman was Lucille Ball, and to her side, walking the other way, was the whole Simpsons family. Homer, it seemed, had lost wait. Or, had it drawn out of him. Santa’s Little Helper and all the Snowballs were following not far behind. There was a sort of brightness at the end of the bridge. Once, when she turned her head back to talk to Lucille, she noticed there was the same brightness at the other end of the bridge. She dreamt the line to move again. She passed others: Aretha Franklin, her grandmother, Foxy Cleopatra, Ancient Cleopatra, Ghandi, Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, her mailman, her mailman’s life partner, Crosby, Stills, Nash, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and a bearded dwarf or two. Eventually, as she approached the edge of the bridge, the faces in front behind beside and below her began to fade. Then there was light and birds chirping and the woman awoke beside a river. It was morning. She blinked and looked around, remembered laying down among the rocks to drown her ears in the bursting of the shore. She stood, opened her eyes wide, thought of how dark and dreamless sleep has seemed. She let the heaviness of it drip out of her for a second and started her day.