Monday, April 10, 2006

Apathetic Altruism

In Chicago, this weekend...

A 30 degree wind tunnel of a street dons hundreds of shops of all kinds, people of all colors. The flat city allows a view for hundreds of feet of expansive urban streetscape.

A siren sounds. Red lights flash.

A virtual caravan of autos on Broadway halts, the flurry of the street subsides only for a moment. Seated anonymously in a Camry, I peer out the back window to see the hapless truck scramble, delicately, through the thicket of cars. He passes us. My errant head follows the vehicle whose siren and lights part the crowd into two impossibly symmetric, angled pairs as it shrieks towards the distant blaze.

The cars resume their positions and shuffle aimlessly once more. The people on the sidewalks do the same.