Crossing the Street

I was walking down the street when I spotted an elderly couple was standing on the curb, looking toward the other side, presumably waiting to cross the street. As I approached them, however, I realized that there was no crosswalk signal, which meant they could walk at their discretion, which could have been any time since no cars were passing through at all.

A few paces ahead of me was a man with headphones playing music so loudly that I could make out the song. I was counting on him to blow past the couple and show that crossing was safe, but since he was not paying entire attention, when he hit the edge of the block, he stopped, dutifully waiting to cross the street when appropriate.

Next, I reached the curb. As much as I didn't want to pause there, I felt obligated to assess the situation. I stopped between the old couple and headphoned guy and tried to figure out why we were waiting. I was pretty sure the music man was just aloof and following the cues of others, which was stupid, but then again I was doing the same thing. Nearly ten seconds later, I decided to lead by example and walk across the street. Even though it was entirely safe and legal, it felt remarkably defiant.

I couldn't help but keep my head turned over my shoulder to see if anyone else followed suit. Absorbed in the music, headphone guy was paying attention to nothing external, yet suddenly whipped his head around in confusion. Realizing he had been standing in place for no reason for nearly thirty seconds, he practically sprinted across the street to make up for lost time as the old couple continued to stand in place, looking as aloof as ever. I stared at them, but they didn't pay attention to me, instead looking around timidly. I would have guessed that they were waiting to meet someone there, except that they were so close to the curb that their toes were hanging over the edge. Maybe this is Candid Camera I thought. No, maybe they're performance artists! That's it, they've staged an act to fool other people.

I've lived in Los Angeles too long if I've started suspecting that a pair of unassuming, stationary elderly people are performance artists.


lisa4lisa said...

omg i saw that i think...

Kevin said...

Who are you?
Where did you see this?
That'd be a funny coincidence.