Saturday, January 19, 2008

jaywalk, started by marie (continued by sergio, drew, debbie, alicia and me)

independence, freedom, step by step. cobblestone under my feet, a bell rings. where am i going, does it matter? green light red light, why do i have to stop? a baby is crying, mother and stroller, help her cross. peace and quiet, fresh air. gravel under my feet, just keep going. sunrise, sunset. stop to rest and breathe, only if i want to. tear the paper, break the rules, leaves in the wind. lines look better when you have drawn over them. step, step, stepping. past the bounds that are assigned. it's a small rebellion, just walking when you're not supposed to, but an important one. it is in steps that things happen, in steps that things unhappen. it is the way the world came to be (in 7 steps) and the way it will go might be fewer still.

each step grew larger still until i wasn't jaywalking, but jay gallopping, jay leaping. each step no longer represented one step in creation or destruction. it was an illicit street dance. pound, pound, pounce. her feet felt like quickly-drying cement, calcifying in the heat of the indian summer sunshine. yet just as she felt the final twinge of the hardening process end, a weight would lift off of her shoulders and she would begin her street dance once more.

from a distance, not quite so far but close enough that she could sense its origin, her ears began to process the notes and melodies of an ancient story. swaying ever so gently, her heart taught her feet to move in time with the rhythm of this haunting reverie. slowly, she found herself drawn closer to the aural center of this strange universe.

yeah, she had just chugged two bottles of robitussin. it was her thanksgiving day tradition now since the accident which left her blind two years ago. she had a delicate and specific schedule she followed every year. she would wake up at five, because getting into town for the parade always provided a challenge -- especially for a single blind woman. in her handbag she packed two bottles of extra-strength robitussin.

she would stand in the streets -- she liked to pick a busy one, like vinohradska, or preferably one with trams, maybe jugoslavska or revolucni. she would exit the metro, walking stick in one hand, robitussin in the other. she would bring the sweet nectar to her lips, gulp it down. then she would jaywalk, cross the streets like a metal ball in a pinball game, playing that game with the vehicular traffic. it was her parting shot at fate, her last chance to prove that this was always the future and never the future, that she was untouchable by the forces that had guided her to her thanksgiving day acccident.

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