The wanderer in rush hour

In the city yesterday, buried amongst the freshly ironed shirts and hastily combed damp hairdo’s rushing to work, stood a man.

He couldn’t have been more obvious if he was riding through the CBD on a horse whilst dressed in a chicken suit. He moved at a glacial pace compared to the crowd around him, who was bouncing in every direction like pinballs.  In fact, when he reached the edge of the curb his dawdle became a standstill and his expression suggested he’d just realised the buses everyone was casually dodging could quite easily squash him. So he stopped and tried to suppress his confusion by taking in his surroundings.

I don’t think it took him long to spot what was out of the ordinary; his dishevelled hair, his rumpled shirt, his denim jeans – on a Thursday. He was in the city, on a weekday, with a hangover.

Worse still, all available escape routes were blocked by the determined march of people charging through town like ants to a picnic. They weren’t about to give way to him and they certainly weren’t going tolerate the time penalties he was incurring by his aimless wandering.

As I sat on the bus watching the man’s confusion intensify across the street, I couldn’t help but smile. The guy looked like he’d picked time to be on his team. It might’ve been because any sudden movements caused a bell to toll loudly in his head, but who cares what your motivation is if it makes you slow down and take in your surroundings. He wasn’t rushing anywhere and nothing and no one could make him go any faster.

I lost him in the crowd the second I got off the bus; the second I joined the pinballs bouncing around in a rush to get somewhere.

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