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  • Desola Olaleye

Turd at a Crossing

Dread plunges into me as I tread the crowded pavement. Dark grey clouds suffocate what remains of morning rays. This is the city of polluted skies and paranoid paper-chasers where life, let alone a day, never goes as planned. Here, I am caught between living and anticipating. What will tomorrow hold? The next hour? The next minute? Prompted by the flashing pedestrian light, I approach the briefly still roadway. As my feet greet the blanched road of motionless vehicles, I sense a hesitating figure shadowing me. I glance at the traffic countdown timer. Two seconds to reach the pavement ahead. The drivers, restless and sleep-deprived, prepare to resume their journey. Turning quickly to my right, I meet the reddening face of a woman. This face is attached to a frozen body. It is tinged with dread. Not the dread buried within me. A different kind. A more impatient dread. Beside the woman with flushed cheeks is a leashed Jack Russell, standing gallantly and patiently on four legs, releasing thick brown globs onto the tarmac surface. The source of her dread is instantly unmistakable. Turd at a crossing. Amid rush hour. The trees overhead dance, their leaves whisper, announcing this as a rebellion against London and its impatience. In this moment I glimpse the nerve that could animate my life.

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