Sometimes I feel like sticking my foot in front of a car, just to feel the crush of its tyres against my bones

Old Shoe by George Hodan (c) George Hodan

I stand at the intersection, waiting for the light to change. A car comes towards me. I hesitate. For a split-second I want to step forward. I imagine myself doing this: putting my foot out as if to trip the oncoming car. 

My logical brain suppresses this illogical urge. It is an effort to keep my shoe on the kerb, my leg rigid, my foot where I can still feel it. But even as I do this, my thoughts blossom with another possibility: the unbearable pressure of more than 1,000kg flattening out my foot, the numb crush of bone and old skin, the weird shape of it, the heart-stopping pain of it, the thrilling extraordinariness of it.

There is no blood in this picture. Just splintered cartilage and mangled leather. The car drives off, oblivious. Pedestrians stare at their feet, making sure they’re both still there. I’m still upright, one foot on the kerb, the other stuck to the road like a cartoon version of itself.

There is no sound.

Until the car drives off, there is no sound at all. But when I finally glimpse the back of it, too late to catch the number plate, I find my foot – the cartoon foot – is still on the kerb, unscathed. I haven’t tripped a car at all. I’m merely waiting, and now the light has changed, I’m still waiting to cross.

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