Stop Making Sense

I stop when I get to the corner and turn to look in the direction of a siren. An ambulance. Across the street a man is waving his arms. For a moment I think he’s going to wave down the ambulance, but it turns out that he’s really just trying to direct traffic. He holds up one hand, palm out, toward the cars in the sidestreet. Stop. (They already have a red light.) He waves toward the southbound traffic, as if giving them permission to go. The ambulance is the only car coming from that direction. All the pedestrians cover their ears as it zips past except for the self-appointed crossing guard, who steps back up onto the sidewalk and waits for the light to change.

I’m walking up the steps from the waterfront. Two men walk out of a shop and head downstairs. At their feet is an impossibly small puppy, its tiny legs racing to keep up. The dog’s concentration is on managing the stairs, so he veers away from the group a bit. He stumbles right into my path and sits on the step in front of me, looking up through his black sheep dog style dog-bangs. I hesitate for a second. (It’s so small.) The dog doesn’t do anything, so I go around him, passing between him and his people. He follows, going up a few steps before one of his companions calls his name and he turns to rejoin the group.

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