Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A fallen man

Not everybody lying on a city street is dead.
I exit a 300-year-old city centre building, with other people, following a meeting.
We are in that laguna where you just want to walk away from these people until the next time; but are compelled to make small talk, at least until a city bus arrives.
The man's head faces the door and we have a clear view of his untied shoes at the extremity of his body.
He's dead, someone says. No, he's only sleeping, says another.
Kick him in the belly, to see what happens, says the man in the blue suit who said nothing at all at the meeting; but who wants to say something now, so we know he was present.
I walk around to the man's shoes and see his belly is rising and falling with life.
I press his shoe where his big toe should be.
He wakes up and asks what happened; he fell asleep in the sun sitting on the step waiting for a delayed bus.

I have started to tie his lace in an absent minded way because that is what I did with my children, lest they fall over.
I look up and the man is embarrassed at having another man tying his laces on a city street in the summer heat; but these things happen when you are waiting for a bus to take you away and the meeting is over.
Storytelling here

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