Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Senagalian Sidestep.

Who'd have thought walking could be so difficult? Not me that's for sure, and i'm good at everything.

It all started out so innocently as well. Walking down one of the many barren streets in the City, i-pod earphone in one ear, i-pod earphone in the other and everything seemed to be in cruise control. I decided let down my social intolerance barrier in light of my current complacency.

Big mistake.

Halfway down the street i see a young man walking towards me at a very brisk pace. He had a look on his face of pure certainty of his destination but his stride gave me the complete opposite impression. Being the upstanding citizen and avoider of all unfair scenarios that i am, i kept left. Then, as if to try and bend the fabric of space, time and walkway rules, this chump starts looking at his i-pod as he approaches my radius. We're about twenty metres apart at this stage and i'm not completely concerned, just a little more alert to the implications that his ignorance could bring forward.

Ten metres and he's still looking at his i-pod. We're head to head now, almost in an unplanned game of 'chicken', only he's not as privy as i am to the awkwardness this situation could create. What do i do? Do i call out to him and tell him to stay in his lane? Do i just keep walking and hope he looks up and realises what a chump he's being and moves in the nick of time? Who's nick anyway? And why does he control time? Do i just stop in my tracks, roll my eyes and guess which way he's going to dodge and act accordingly?
Too late. Our paths have crossed and the dance off has begun.

I go left, he does the same. I know what's happening, i've been through this before. I don't move at the second phase, but neither does he. It's at this point i realise I'm dealing with a valedictorian in awkwardness. One, two seconds now. I feel like a crowd is going to circle us any moment and start chanting "FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!", because that's what it looks like. I step right and he follows suit. Who follows a suit?

That's it. Before this goes any further, i'm going to have to bow out. I take an even bigger sidestep to the right and give him the "just fucking go past me please" arm gesture, similar to how a concierge shows a guest to a room, except he wants to kill them when they go to sleep that night. He accepts my invite, much to my surprise as this fascist was obviously on some kind of awkwardness payroll the way he was carrying on. I had made a new worst enemy, and i knew it wasn't over between us.

The whole ordeal lasted about half an hour and i was actually approached by several talent scouts afterwards because they liked the way i moved and were under the impression i was a professional dancer. I swiftly declined their offers and got the fuck out of there, hoping that i never have to go through such hardship again.

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