Parkour

October 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Most days you’d not want to walk through there alone. At best you’d make sure your headphones were silent. You’d want to be alert, ready for footsteps from behind.

That lad standing on the wall by the entrance to the underpass doesn’t look like the others, though. For a start, he’s alone, and for another thing, he’s wearing a vest and some loose trousers that make him look more like a gymnast than a thug. He’s not looking at you, either, or at his phone. He’s standing on a wall, and he’s staring at the opposite wall – a good four foot higher, and the gap must be eight foot across. Not far off impossible, really.

He’s waiting for his moment.

You pause, find yourself waiting with him. You hold your breath like a safety net.

Suddenly he is in the air; he’s at the other side, hands on top and two nimble steps bringing his feet up.

And now he is walking down this higher wall, and it all happened so fast that if you were to describe it to some passerby they’d look at you, at the space, at the young man now disappearing off down the street, and you know they’d not believe that it had happened, this brief, startling moment of flight.

For the rest of the day your mind will keep returning to this absurd intervention and you’ll start to wonder whether you really even saw it at all.

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