~ Excerpts from M. Benkelman's Suspended Bridges: The Engineering of a Fantasy ~
In 1989, in the encroaching mountains of Serbia or Tennessee, an idea occurred between two brothers; or rather a quixotic dream: to build a new bridge from Turkey to Europe. This bridge would be lined with tapestries and populated by a thousand great white birds. Soaring over the Mediterranean sea, commuters would be flanked by low-growing patches of colorful flora. The bridge would be a swath of color and light, a paintbrush stroke between continents, between cultures, between civilizations. On each independence day of every independent country, grandiose displays of fireworks would erupt from the bridge and the Christmas (yes Christmas) lights would crawl across the bridge like festive veins of ivy on the eves of all the world's favorite holidays.
Pleased by their idea, the brothers set off with alraming alacrity to sell rare, forgotten and unclaimed music in the streets, that they may raise the funds (approximately $85 billion would do) by the generosity (monetarily speaking) of the persons whose lives they one day hoped to improve.
While journeying south and west in hopes of finding a venerated and loathed - depending upon one's side of the aisle - Moroccan bridge builder whose inventions and discoveries in the field of arcs and spanning had shaken the foundation upon which Europe's most gifted architects' minds were precariously balanced, and who, quite unfortunately, perpetually lacked the footing required to pry open the gilded hands of the continent's investors and thus lived in squalor and solitude, far from men; they encountered along the way - the brothers - deep in the south of Spain, their cousin Daniel, a pugilist and flute maker, whom they had not seen since their uncle's wedding, during which blows had been exchanged, blood spilt, gifts ungiven, leaving the deep respect and love between the two families forever dashed upon the bouldery rift between mountains of stony pride.