I can’t stop looking at him but no one else is, they just walk past. I think he might be dead but then I see his chest is moving. I stare up at the building above me but none of the windows are open. The roof seems too high and I can only imagine there would be blood or worse if he had jumped. I feel myself getting agitated at his stillness. People continue to stroll by; one man even steps over his legs on his way off the sidewalk. Maybe he lies here every day? Maybe people have more important things to do? I can’t walk away. It’s not because I actually care about this man. I don’t. There is some force keeping my body hovering above him. I need to know why he is laying on the cement on this busy city street.
Hey, what are you doing?' His eyes are closed but he blinks and then the lids are shut again. 'Hello?' I’m screaming now. Does he not hear me? Does he not care? I can’t explain my anger but it grows with every moment the man does not rise.
He is dressed in regular clothes but I can tell they were bought at a nice department store. He is clean and his brown hair has been noticeably conditioned and combed. He has to be around 40, possibly even younger. His face is adorned with a neatly trimmed beard that adds a few years and makes him appear almost regal. His exterior is completely contradictory to his current place on the grimy sidewalk and this contrast angers me.
'Get up! What the hell are you doing? You need to get off the sidewalk!' A few faces turn towards me as they walk by, completely ignoring the man underneath my feet. The rage builds up inside me. I nudge the man with my foot. His torso moves with the motion of my leg but the minute force is inconsequential.
'Wake up!' I wait until the street is baron of people and then kick his leg with some vigor. A strange grunt expels from his mouth, but nothing more occurs. I pace around the man, moving my upper body anxiously as the anger multiplies within me. Suddenly my eyes are diverted to a man walking by. He is dressed in dirty clothes that have numerous holes from excessive wear. He looks me up and down and cringes. He stops and looks right at me. At no point do his eyes move to the body below me. He shakes his head back in forth in disgust, than continues down the street.
'Why are you doing this? Why? Get up God dammit!' I walk back to my original place in front of him and look down at his face. I slowly move my leg back, as if I am about to kick a winning soccer goal, then jab my foot directly into his stomach.
The man’s eyes burst open and he snaps his head upwards, until he meets my glare. His face exemplifies a ferocity not even I could muster. He doesn’t speak, but a sensation of viciousness radiates from the corners of his mouth. Out of fear, I take a step back. He slowly raises his head; his eyes never leaving mine. If I were standing any closer I would fear he would bite. His high-end clothing and neatly cut beard are no longer a factor. He is now a wolf that would eat his own offspring.
The strong sense of anger running through my body has converted into terror. The right side of his lip begins to curl and his eyes grow wider. He moves his arm from its place by his knee until it is above his head. He keeps it taut and then slowly outstretches his index finger until it is pointing directly at me. I want to leave but there is a force keeping me there. I can’t walk away.
| COPYRIGHT 2006-2011
Portland Fiction Project
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