Crossing the Street

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The asphalt road, deep fissures, steel high heels torn by women rushing across Broadway; they waggle their tail and boogie through a magnitude of pedestrians, and I noticed a crowd crammed on the Avenue. 

A boy squirms in place, twists his baseball cap from front to back, peels his jacket from his steel frame, scratches his head, and his foot begins to tap.

A man wearing a muscle shirt stiffens his gait, swings his shoulders, pulls the front of his jeans up, and walks like a proud pigeon through the dense crowd, he inhales, his chest expands and he looks tough as he swings his arms simultaneously with one foot, one arm, and passes strangers without a smile.

The crowd dwindles and walking has slowed. Teens are dancing across the road as they snap their fingers to a song they hear on their headset; dancing; fingers twist a knob as sound amplifies entering a mind.  A sound awakes their brain, quicker steps, elbows beat against their side, in and out, then slower, each step; they turn down the sound, and waists move side to side as their feet shuffle slowly to another song; they lag behind. 

BroadwayA couple, plump, exits a candy store, waddles to the curbside and trips on the edge of the cement: What is inside the bag? One person has to know.  One opens up a white paper bag while the other rocks back and forth, waiting.  The one who holds the bag, closes it, steps off the curb, swings the bag back and forth, the second person pulls gently on the arm holding the white bag.  One foot, trips then steps on the other’s foot, now twisted like a tootsie roll, face to face.    Their shoes; one untied, a lace drags across asphalt.  The one without the bag pulls harder on the arm holding the bag; both, nearly fall.  One foot, and the other, they both step onto the curb, quickly one reaches for the bag.  The bag rips, all the jellybeans are rolling on the asphalt; one orange and another, green settles into a circle created by a woman’s shoe. 

The cubby couple tries to bend to reach a jellybean, and horns are sounding all around them.  Fat keeps them from reaching far enough, while one watches the other bend; hear knees crack, still, no one reaches the white bag. 

Those watching from the curbside appear frozen in place, no one moves, as the chubby couple remains at the side of the road, both staring at the ground.  The second one lifts one leg, and now the other and is breathing heavy with a mouth open to fetch some air, both stand side be side.  The eyes from the couple stare at the bag, and both wonder if it is completely empty. 

A gust of wind moves the white bag, rubber wheels roll over it, a truck drags it out into traffic, another gust of wind and it disappears. A traffic light is now red.  Soles of feet begin to cross the asphalt and the crowd swells. 

A man is walking slower with two legs, but uses one, since the other is swinging to his side, loose, as if not connected to his body.  A younger man slows to let the two legged man walk slower, as the young man stares, his eyes protecting him from others rushing to his left and right.  Young hands are deep into the pockets of his jeans, his body bounces as he continues to watch the leg swing away from the man in front of him.  The boy’s body starts to swing at his hips, shifting back and forth, side to side, fiddling with his pockets and slows, meets the man in front of him, face to face.  The older man nods, moves to his right, motions for the boy to pass.  The boy still has his hands shoved into deep pockets; his hair falls onto his face as he stares at the asphalt, then performs an odd dance.  He skips over fissures in the road and the two-legged man sees his strange dance. 

The last to reach the curb is the two-legged man.  One hand lifts his left leg, he hops, and the light turns from yellow to red.  The young man hangs around, he asks if he can help, but the two-legged man tells the boy he has nowhere, to go.

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