Sunday, July 02, 2006

Things you notice on your way home from university after a long unproductive day

Originally posted to El Cantar de la Lluvia on Saturday, October 29, 2005.

A human-powered cart seen from behind, from the first row of vehicles at the red light, so large that you can't tell if the man pulling it is old or young. Its swaying is just as pityful. No reflectors, not even old CDs stuck to the wooden frame. The wheels are just irregular strips of curved and dented metal. It's late. He probably lives far away. I wonder where he's headed? Apart from the broken basket, the dirty plastic jug and other things hanging from the cart, what else is in there?

The pedestrian light starts flashing. I increase my engine's RPMs slightly. On my left, a taxi. Taxis generally start off much slower when the light changes to green, they don't waste fuel unnecesarily. On my right, a new pick-up truck, large. The driver is wearing a shirt and tie. He is returning home from a long day's work. He'll probably start off in a hurry. That's the great irony: those that buy the biggest vehicles usually use them in the most inefficient way. I'll just use the left lane after I start.

The orange light for the perpendicular road lights. I increase my RPMs a tad, I use the tip of my boot to move the gear pedal down again, checking that I'm in first gear. With my thumb I check to see if the turn indicators are off and if my headlight is on high beam. It's a tic.

The cart has advanced a few metres during the duration of the red light. I wonder if the asshole in the pick-up has seen him yet. I suppose so.

We get our green light, and off I go. My small 125 cc engine gives me the small head start I need, and I get in front of the taxi. The pick-up sets off calmly, and I stay ahead of the group.

All clear.


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