Will Gatti & Daniel Finn


At The Bridge Called Albert

At The Bridge Called Albert

It’s as pretty as an old fashioned ice-cream shop, and they don’t exist anymore on my side of town, or anywhere I’ve been for a while now; but here it is on the north side of the bridge, shaped like a twenty pence piece, except it has eight sides and that stupid coin has seven. Pale blue columns at each corner. Elegant like a little temple. Magic. If Dr Who designed a theatre, it might be like this.

Step inside through the criss-cross, white and grey door and who knows what you will find: a blast-away control desk with glowing valves and blinking lights; a vast hall filled with shiny-domed men and women wearing orange cloaks, earnestly planning the future of the universe. Or maybe just a monkey. Who knows?

The booth sits on a black plinth. That’s a giveaway: sure as a bridge is a bridge there are stumpy little rockets set behind that neatly painted, wooden base. Yes, sir.

I can hear the countdown; I can see the white glow, the slow lift, the orange flame and cloud billowing out like a ball gown from around the base. Its pointed hat is sky bound. There it goes.

And now there is nothing left ; just melted tarmacadam and a deep red and white sigh: ‘All troops must break step when marching over this bridge.’

I’m not surprised.

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