Friday, November 02, 2007

Halfway down the block walked a man carrying a giant bunch of multi-colored balloons. The strings got caught in the barbed wire of a fence--one of them popped--and by the time he had them untangled I had nearly drawn even. He walked to his car and opened the hatchback, and then stood on the sidewalk looking confusedly back and forth between the inside of his trunk his fistful of balloons. He smiled sheepishly and shrugged as I walked past, and then attempted to wedge the balloons between bits of detritus on the floor of the trunk while struggling to keep the balloons from escaping. A little farther down the block he passed me in his car. One balloon had broken free of the back and was drifting gently toward the back of his head.

On the other side of the crosswalk a girl held a vase full of flowers in the crook of her arm, her other hand clutching the bottom of it. The light changed, and as we walked toward each other I saw her steps falter every few feet, her attention following her nose down to nuzzle the crown of an orange daisy.

Near home, a man stood on the corner waiting for the traffic to part, hoisting a box in his hands. The cars paused for a second and he darted into the intersection, stumbled, and lost his grip on the box which in turn lost its contents; sheets of paper went cascading across the pavement. He paused and considered them for a second, shrugged, and jogged the rest of the way across the street.

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