I’m waiting to cross. I’ve been in motion, brisk and zeroed-in, and now I’m resentful of the involuntary halt. Like a good city person, I take the extra step into the street to wait, one pace closer to my goal, eyes intent on the traffic light.
Next to me is an old man, a real classic, in a rough tweed coat, a fake fur collar, gray scruff on his worn cheeks. “Don’t stand on that,” he says, and points to the metal sewer grate my feet are planted on. “You might disappear.”
This seems like an absurd proposition to me, but I’m conserving effort here, so I thank him, and step off to the side a bit.
“That’s better,” he’s smiling now, satisfied with his good deed. “You never know with this city, you never know. I might turn around and zoop! You’re gone.”