Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Shanghai as a Jaywalker

A waif of a girl, she was walking in the road, letting her heels click upon the asphalt, completely avoiding the sidewalk. She did it not because she wished to prove anything about herself. Nor did she do it because she wanted to save time. For her it was simply the way that one walked, inches from death at all times.

Taxicabs whizzed by at a clip, most of them only flashing their lights to acknowledge her presence, if they did that at all. Electric bicycles announced their arrival with a high, piercing ring. Trash trucks hustled past, groaning as they swerved around her.

She gnawed nonchalantly on a processed bread bun as she walked through an intersection, oblivious of the traffic lights, walking straight through the middle. I stood there waiting for the light, wondering what possessed her and where she was going. I tried to follow her across the road, but the cars were coming too fast and I didn’t have the intuition to navigate them. I’d lost her.

A minutes later I found her again, standing at a corner for a moment as she threw the wrapper of her bun at a trash can. It didn’t make it in, but she was unconcerned. The trash can was the token of a world that she participated in only as an afterthought. She was already off the sidewalk, shuffling down the middle of the street.

posted by ferret at 6:42 pm  

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