Thirtieth

As the red trolley makes its way down the narrow street, a man on a scooter keeps pace beside it, shouting up to a woman through the open visor of his helmet. She is staring straight ahead, not bothering to wipe the tears his words are conjuring from her eyes.

The trolley brakes suddenly as a pedestrian dashes across the lane, and this jostles the woman, her hip snapping out toward the man on the scooter as she struggles to keep hold of the handrail. The man lifts a hand to make sure she doesn’t fall and it brushes against her backside. She swats at him as soon as she is able, still not speaking.

And yet, this is still not a strong enough message for him. So, when they finally come upon me, I throw a hard right at him, connecting with his even harder helmet. It’s not much more than a glancing blow, but it’s enough. He tumbles to the ground as his bike bounces off the trolley’s side, then skids into a food cart selling nuts and popcorn, making a grand old mess.

The woman glances back at me as the trolley moves along, and she flips me the bird. “I had it under control,” she shouts.

I shrug. And then, seeing the scooter guy standing up and brushing himself off, I run.

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