Thursday, April 15, 2010

This an instructional piece on how to cross the street

Taken from Coquina Online. Click here to check it out.

Hundreds of steel machines zip past you at absurd speeds. The traffic signals flicker in a seemingly random pattern, giving way to flocks of migrating banshees. The noise of city rush hour is deafening. It feels like you’ve been flash-banged. Somehow you have to get yourself to the other side of the street without being decimated by one of the vehicles. You look around you and people start to crowd around, waiting for the little man, you know, that neon guy who lights up on the crosswalk signal.

But you don’t want to wait. You’ve got people to see, things to do. You want to find another way to cross. Here’s how:

  • Step one: Don’t listen to the crosswalk guy. Forget him. He is there for people who don’t know how to cross a street in style. So forget about the blue guy. He should be dead to you.
  • Step two: Know that jaywalking is a myth. It doesn’t exist. When have you heard about someone getting booked for jaywalking?
  • Step three: Know that a street is crossable at any given time. A street is always crossable. It is only a matter of navigating through the steel machines rushing past. The street is big, you are small. You can, you will, fit through a crack.
  • Step four: Be confident. The street is yours. You don’t own the street, but it is yours. You can walk all over it and it won’t talk back. Walk onto the street knowing you will get to the other side. Take pride in your street crossing skills. Some are finesse crossers, some power crossers, and some tactical crossers. Find your capabilities and refine them to the point of muscle memory. The less confident you are, the greater chance of death, injury and mutilation when crossing the street.
  • Step five: Step onto the roadway. Yes, there are screaming metal monsters close to you, but there is likely a place where you can stand.
  • Step six: Study the traffic conditions. It is important to get to know the nature of traffic. It is a psychological-industrial complex between you and the street. You must outsmart the street. If traffic is light and it’s late at night, you know you should be able to walk comfortably and slowly across the street. If traffic is heavy, you’ll have to be more agile and deft. Find the gaps and hit them. Study the traffic. It is your guide. It’s the bible of street crossing.
  • Step seven: Cross the freakin’ street already.
By Gian Louis Thompson

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