||[Jun. 12th, 2006|09:12 pm]
Scribite -- Write, you!
(Inspired by this video. Wikipedia has a nice essay on it, too. If I tried to do it, I would hurt myself so bad, but it is still beyond cool.)|
The broad cities of the western plains are mostly set up on grids. Streets meet at right angles, run in cardinal directions. Addresses are nothing more than coordinates -- Connor lives at 552 West 150 North. His address also doubles as the directions.
The roads are wide and clear. Even the smaller streets have two lanes in each direction, so there is rarely any traffic. Travelling is usually pleasurable and swift.
But Connor didn't want to get in his rusty, un-air-conditioned buick and drive. He didn't want to travel ten blocks east and eight blocks north to get to his destination. He didn't want to stop at two stoplights. In fact, he didn't want to stop moving at all.
He laced up his tennis shoes. He opened the door, feeling the evening heat wash over and through him. He turned to the northeast, and started running. A straight line is, after all, the quickest route between point A and point B. So what if the city had put a few things in his way?
His feet slapped the asphalt. He crossed the street in a straight run. His neighbor's fence was quickly leaped over, one arm grabbing the top for leverage to swing his legs over. His footprints dug deep into the freshly tilled soil of their garden as he plowed through.
He started to sweat almost instantly in the summer heat. It felt good. It felt alive. His muscles -- stomach, legs, and back -- stabbed as he leaped a second fence, but he still grinned. The wind whipped past his ears, and he felt like it envied him his speed, his strength, his balance. This was what it meant to be a man -- to surmount obstacles, to overcome, to progress. Not to sit at a red light with your turn signal beating a staccato in your skull.
Kacey stood at the kitchen sink and looked out the window into her backyard. She saw Connor -- she knew him from school -- dash through her backyard, hurdling over the kiddie-pool her brother had left out, jumping onto the trampoline and using the momentum of that bounce to carry him forward, past a row of shrubs, into the adjoining backyard. She stayed at the window long after he was gone, replaying the scene in her mind.
Connor couldn't stop to look both ways before he crossed the street. His kindergarten teacher -- not to mention his mother -- would have been highly disappointed in him. He heard the squeal of brakes behind him, but still he ran. He was too fast to hit. He was invincible.
At least, he felt that way. And to the casual observer, he looked it.