On the corner of Varick Street and King Street, there stand two men who want to cross the street, but cannot because of the stream of cars.  The cars are together, flowing quickly, leaving no way for the two men to cross the street.  The street is always flowing.  There is no way for the men to get across.  They see no gap wide enough that would let them run across unharmed.  If they step into this stream of cars, they run the risk of disrupting the flow or of being swept away.

They look at the sign above them.  It says that there is no parking on the street between the hours of 4 AM – 6 AM on Tuesday.  It’s Tuesday, but it’s late in the afternoon.  Why aren’t there cars stopping?  Why are no cars parked?

The man in the black shirt is looking for a clever way to get across.  He is in a hurry because he has to go visit his wife in the hospital.  She is giving birth to their first child and he has to be there.  He isn’t thinking clearly because there is a lot on his mind.

The man in the blue jacket is patiently waiting for the light to change.  He knows that the cars will stop when the light tells them too.  But the light is broken.

The two men try to fix the light.  They think there might be something wrong with the electricity.  They go to the base of the stoplights and try to get the electric circuit to be closed again.  They tear off the base of the stand and get to work.

They realize there is a problem.  There is nothing conductive they can use to close the circuit.  Neither of them is willing to sacrifice any of their things.  The cars are not stopping.  They have to think of another way through.

Finally, the patient man in the blue jacket notices the subway entrance on the other side of the street.  They see one on their side of the street.  They realize that they can use the tunnel to get across.

They go down, and realize that the subway tunnel does not connect them to the other side.  Underground they are blocked by lines of railroad tracks.

Frustrated, but out of options, the men get on the next 1 train.  They get off at the nearest stop where they can transfer and take another 1 train back.



1 thought on “Crossing

  1. I really enjoyed that story. I found it clever, creative, and none of the events unfolded as I thought they would. If we took mental snapshots and channeled our creativity like that more often, we would see the world as a very different place. Then again, with all the daydreaming, we probably wouldn’t be living much.

    The story’s crafty, innovative solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem inspired me to inventively solve problems when I reach a frustrating impasse.

    -Robin Cohen

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