Long, long ago, back when all this was bayou and marsh, and pirogues passed for speedboats, the government men built a bridge over the Calcasieu from one end to the other and then, immediately, shut it down for repairs.

It became a kind of demonstration project for bridge work, a place where contractors and engineers and transportation planners gathered each morning in hard hats, coffee cups in hand, and discussed how they might get through the day without actually accomplishing anything.

Ordinary people, as time went on, accepted this as the way things were and were always going to be. From time to time, a lane would open and the ordinary people would wait patiently in line in their vehicles for the chance to pass across the bridge before their clothes went out of style and their gas tanks emptied. Seldom, but not never, were lanes open in both directions and this meant that the people in their vehicles could, for example, go home but not return to work. Or go to work and never get back home.

And then, this morning, two lanes opened on the west-bound side of the Calcasieu Bridge. I’m heading that way. It’s too much to resist. This could be the end for me. I might be trapped forever on the west side of the Calcasieu, carving a pirogue big enough to get me and my vehicle back to work. Wish me luck.