Intersection of Fragility…


Waiting for the lights to change, paused on a hill, right foot hovering above the accelerator. The schoolgirls are standing at the lights across the road, waiting to cross. Crossing over into a new phase in their lives. Laughing in their carefree manner, practicing for what they will become. The last day of school. Uniforms restyled in quirky ways, slashed, hitched up, sentimental scrawls of black texta deface the checked cloth. The cloth which has identified them as schoolgirls for so long. Flirting with their coquettish mannerisms. Long tanned legs on display for teenage and not so teenage male fantasies. As they giggle and twirl, the gaping onlookers – temporarily mesmerised by their presence, forget to accelerate when the green light indicates the show is over. The girls proceed across the highway, clutching their celebratory balloons. The bright orange balloons jiggle erratically in the breeze. Buoyant, uplifted. Ready to be released into the world at any given moment. Like their owners.
Bubbles burst. Balloons deflate. The man standing diagonally opposite the girls would attest to that. He was not mesmerised by their showy behaviour. He probably didn’t notice them at all. He stood, eyes facing the direction he was heading in. Glasses on, hair smoothed across, standing feet apart in readiness for take-off. Shoulders slightly hunched forward and arms hanging gorilla like away from his body. Not unlike the flashing red image on the lights. The ‘waiting pedestrian’. Mechanical. His eyes remain focussed on his task. He is not distracted by life, but perhaps he absorbs more than his body language gives away. The lights change and he moves across the road, eyes still fixed on one spot ahead. He walks in his aloneness, they walk in their happy group. They started out on opposite sides of the road, opposite sides of life. Momentarily, they intercept. Their light hearted frivolity in stark contrast to his heaviness. Caught up in their own worlds, they don’t notice each other. But I notice them…

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