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pay attention, please.

Daydreaming in the taxi of Rimbaud's unknown world. I am heading toward the East Village, I think... But truly, I'm walking the drawn line between separate illusions. It's become an old worn path. I hear trumpets tooting above a blue grafitti'd suspension bridge while a giant eagle soars over a groping forest. All of the bleak and broken images working themselves towards reassemblance.

With a start, I am awoken by the driver demanding his five bucks. No problem, O.K., fine. And I gather my personal belongings rushing out of the cab, almost tripping over my guilt.

Pay Attention!

I wait patiently for the WALK signal in a cool summer breeze that comes only after a long hard New York downpour. I am drawn to concentrate on the taxi in front of the one that was just mine. Funny, he doesn't inch forward as the light turns yellow.

There is no sign of anticipation in his eyes to reach his next fare or the gas station or the falafel stand or whatever it is taxis do.

And, sure enough, the light turned green and he didn't move, not even to blink. Green means go, stupid!

A moment later, the cacaphony of honks in the F Key and "fucking assholes", etc... begins on cue. Not an ounce of breath escaped my lungs as I waited, watched, wishing he would make some effort at response. Awed, as if watching the News, I found time maliciously passing away. Doesn't it always seem to do that?

No worries. I was finally able to catch my breath as the driver awakened and made his all too anticipated turn. In symphony, an empty 40 of Bud smashed against the brick wall next to me; so close, so close I felt a shard brush up against my naked arm. I made sure this time to keep moving, avoiding the slippery cracks in the pavement.

- Kristie, L.E.S., NYC 1997


* Illustrations by Dr. Revolt


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