Monday, September 12, 2005

Look out - he's right behind you!

A man follows Teddy de Burca Jnr. everywhere and then passes by, but with pantomime flair, he is right behind him again

We all know him, but not by name. He has driven right behind us, so we couldn’t quite lean back and see his face. He has whipped straight past us, but far too quick for us to catch his license plate number. Or, am I the only one getting in his way?

I don’t know what it says on his birth certificate but we shall refer to him henceforth as the man who is in more of a rush than the other three and a half million people in this city. (A bit of a mouthful, I admit.)

He could also be called the man who confuses his motorbike horn for a laser gun or some kind of force field. He zaps all who confront him. Even if you’re at a red light. He flies through crossroads like Evil Knievel himself. Even on empty roads I suspect he beeps

Perhaps, he is thirsty, hungry, hot or tired, or has ants in his pants. Perhaps, he is a fireman, minus a water pump, off to stop a fire or a detective in mufti, chasing a crook. Perhaps, he has just realised he should rush home and tell his wife she is the axis upon which his earth spins and without her, life would have no meaning. Or perhaps, he just needs to go the toilet really, really badly.

The odd thing is, he seems to be following me. Even on my street, I hear him barrelling down the quiet lane, as though it were a grand prix circuit, banging his horn to kingdom come. So, I step into the gate to let him pass, though the only other person on the street, a three-year old spinning devil-may-care on a tricycle, pays him no attention.

Then, as I leave, driving out to the main road, suddenly he is behind me again. I guess he forgot his phone, or left his wallet behind, and had to go back home. I pull to the side and let him pass, for the second time.
But, trundling down the dyke road, he appears, as if by magic behind me again. Did he stop to put air in his tires, or smoke in his lungs? Once again, I let him pass, but how come when I pull up to the red lights he is lurching behind me, beeping at me, revving up his engine as though we were all about to race like bats out of hell to, well, the next set of traffic lights.

Stranger still, quite regularly he is on a motorbike, but he changes model, sometimes it’s a Honda, other times it’s a Yamaha. He also likes to drive a car, and also enjoys a spin in a truck. He is a bus driver, a xe om, a commuter, a young rapscallion, an old doddery retired civil servant, a doctor, a delivery man, and the little boy who lives down the lane. He is all men, and everywhere and no matter how many times he passes, he reappears. Look out – he’s right behind you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hay nhi!