A young man arrived at work one morning. His boss greeted him with, “This stupid weather is going to ruin the fundraiser on Saturday,” and then proceeded to yell for the next 30 minutes about rain. His coworkers all said, “Hello, how are you?” and then each responded with “I’m so busy,” when they were asked in turn.
The young man’s day faded into oblivion, like every one before it. He gave a rote, “have a nice night,” to his coworkers before driving home. Once there, he wanted to collapse on his couch. But his dog greeted him at the door with a goofy grin and stamping feet, so the young man acquiesced. He got the dog’s leash, and they went for a walk.
But it wasn’t their typical walk. This time, they turned left instead of right. They walked for a long time as the young man wanted to forget about the stresses of his day. Then, they came to a bridge. How strange, he thought. He had never seen this bridge, but perhaps that was because they always turned right before.
Halfway across, they met an old man. He couldn’t quite place the man’s face, though it seemed rather familiar. He wondered if they had met somewhere before.
“Hello,” the old man greeted them.
“Hello,” came the young man’s response. Then they stared at each other. The young man thought again that he knew this other man, but he couldn’t quite say how. Maybe it was just the man’s eyes; they reminded him of his own, only with more lines.
The old man broke their silence. “What brings you to this bridge today?” he asked.
The young man shrugged in response.
“Do you know where you’re going?”
“Can you at least tell me where you’ve been?”
“Nowhere,” came the reply, punctuated with a sigh. Story of my life, the young man thought.
“Then it’s a good thing you came to this bridge today,” said the old man. “This is a bridge to everywhere.”
“How can that be?”
The young man craned his neck to see what lay on the other side, but the old man commanded, “Close your eyes,” so he did. “Now, what do you see?”
At first he saw nothing but infinite blackness stretching before him. Then all of a sudden he said, “I see me, with my dog. We’re by a lake somewhere. I’m fishing.”
“I see us a climbing a mountain, hiking among wildflowers and pine trees.”
“We’re on a beach, laying in the sun. Every so often we go swim in the ocean.”
“Good,” said the old man. “Now that you know where you’re going, don’t you think it’s time you got there?”
The young man opened his eyes. To his surprise he was alone on the bridge except for his dog. But he didn’t dwell on the old man’s disappearance. He and his dog started walking again. They had places to go.