This morning, on my way to work, I stopped at a traffic signal. The sky was dull and the light was red but vehicles honked behind me all the same, as though I could make it green by sheer will power. Or hypnosis if I stared long enough.
In the space next to me, about space enough for a car, squeezed in a red tempo with open back. Two men sat ahead, using the signal break to spit leisurely. Like an art form that needs to be perfected. It was all very very ordinary and I would have just looked ahead, maybe giving the hypnosis a try.
But I noticed that everyone else was staring at the open back of the tempo, where three large cans were placed, lids screwed on. Between the can and the lid, was a small opening, from which was oozing out something. What was it? Well, it was something. I can't describe it much better than that. It was definitely vapour, not liquid, not solid. It had no colour, no smell that I could smell, didn't seem to have much substance. Was it the kind of thing that would start seeping out slowly and explode with a bang? Should we ask? Should we warn them what was happening? What if it was them who had planted it? Everyone looked at each other, trying to guess the answers to these questions. Everyone, except the two guys in the tempo who didnt seem to have a clue that anyone was staring at them.
The light changed, and I went my way. They went theirs, on a different road.