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The Junction

"The things I see around me."

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I’m so fortunate to be able to look out on the world, to see the sunrise, to smell the freshness of the morning dew, and to experience the warmth of the rising sun, and at the end of the day, to cool off and experience those special sunsets; the ones that display the brightest oranges and reds against the silhouetted trees.

Then there are the arcs of brightly coloured rainbows that fill you with awe and the bird song that fills your soul, though, those miserable clouds and thunderstorms do put a downer on me now and then.

Where I live is a nice place to be – sometimes!

And then there are all those nice flowers. Yes, the flowers. Some are natural and grow every year and some are left behind by people; nice people that remember the past; of how things were, and of those things that should not have come to pass so readily.

I see things happen every day. My time is punctuated by the traffic that passes me with a swish-swoosh, swish-swoosh, left to right, right to left, every day. Then there’s the traffic that swish, then halt; the solid white lines on the tarmac demand them to stop in their tracks before they can continue their journey.

They may wait a while or they may just pause and continue onwards.

I see the drivers look left, right, then left again before they pull away with a swish, and then they are gone. They are probably swishing and swooshing past somewhere else right this very minute. Some of them visit me every day, twice a day at that; first going in one direction and then the other. I sometimes wonder what they do in between.

Occasionally, I see horses and carts. Not so much these days, but some still pass by to pay their respect. They used to be the norm long ago. But then, there were not so many flowers long ago, not the types that are left in plastic wrap.

I like the flowers, they brighten the place up and when the flowers die, the people put more flowers in their place. They seem to like putting down flowers. I listen to them when they place the flowers carefully against one of my walls and I sense great despair in their souls.

There was a spate of flowers recently. We’re talking about a few weeks ago now, maybe months, which is no time at all in my time frame. They were accompanied by some cards and what I believe the people call statues.

I remember them appearing a few days after some psychedelic event. It wasn’t exactly a strange event, not anymore, because I have seen them many times now. However, this was a much larger event than normal because there was a lot of activity. Flashing blue and orange lights and sirens and horns blaring that deafened me, the like I have never seen or heard before.

It all happened quite suddenly and late in the day, not that far off sunset. There was some rain. But there’s always rain these days, I put it down to global warming, but then, I’ve been here a long time and I can remember much cooler climates. There was the normal, swish-swoosh, swish-swoosh of the traffic. Then I remember the high-pitched screeching, the sort you couldn’t stop from hearing, the sort you had to sit upright and take notice of, the sort that caused our eyes to squint. It was the loudest noise and most shrilling noise that I have ever heard.

It happened because the car that should have gone swish-stop, didn’t. There was lots of noise, and I mean, lots of noise. The swish-stop car eventually stopped. It stopped when the swish car embedded itself into the side of it accompanied by an almighty thud, transporting it sideways by a good ten metres or so. I watched it slide away.

Then there was the sound of glass tinkling on the tarmac from items that were smashed into tiny pieces. One passenger, I think that’s what they call the people inside the cars, left the car through the gap created by the hole in the front of it. She flew through the air and into the car that should have been going swish-stop. Her forward motion stopped with a thud as she landed heavily on the metalwork beneath her before sliding onto the tarmac.

All the traffic going swish-swoosh eventually came to a halt, but not until a few more cars going swish, hit the cars that should have gone swish-stop. Metalwork is not what it used to be. These days it just scrunches up and gives way and big plastic bags erupt from the cars, except for the one going Swish.

All of this was followed by a deathly silence, apart from the car alarms beeping away to themselves and some car horns that activated all by themselves.

I sometimes get the feeling that the swish-stop car shouldn’t have done what it did. I remember the sudden lack of bird song in that instance like they knew what was going to happen and turned to look. Afterwards, the birds started to twitter again but this time they were joined by the crying and wailing of the people inside some of the cars, the shocked voices of others that started to walk around and help others and yet more voices from people that held tiny little devices to their heads, desperately trying to talk into them.

People walked from car to car and there were people caked in red liquid. There was a lot of red. The red people were either motionless inside the cars or draped over the metalwork of others.

But the thing I remember the most was the crying. I will never forget the crying of those little people in the back seats or others out on the road clutching their loved ones.

After a short while came the flashing party lights. Blue flashing lights in all sorts of coloured cars. They screeched to a halt, close to where all the crying people had huddled together at the side of the road. Then came even bigger engines coloured red and with bigger blue flashing lights on them.

People dressed in blue uniforms started to control other people; directing them into white vans or towards their cars. There were a lot of people scribbling down information into books. They should have asked me, I could have told them everything.

Then there was more noise, grinding noises, sparks cascaded over the road and upwards into the air, cars were mutilated and defaced and the people in red removed from their vehicles into waiting white vans with more blue flashing lights.

The people of this world seem to like blue flashing lights, don’t they?

Eventually, the white vans flew away with a swish-swoosh making a nee-naw, nee-naw sort of noise. As I said, it was very psychedelic. There was no swish-swoosh along the road for some time after they left. Further up the road the people dressed in blue sporting quite funny hats placed some yellow and white tape across the road. Other people with the same funny hats turned the cars away from me; much to the annoyance of the people inside them.

It seemed to take ages before large vehicles with orange flashing lights appeared and started to pull the cars onto their backs; removing them from their resting place and taking them away. The people, dressed in orange, cleared all the scattered debris and glass from the surface of the tarmac.

One by one, they left me in silence.

It had taken quite a while for all the people to leave. Especially the people dressed in blue. They didn’t leave until the sky had that obsidian blackness about it.

And then, after only one day, the flowers arrived.

I have to admit, I don’t care too much for those mechanical things the people call cars. I used to like the horses and carts and I also like people on those two-wheeled thingies because they are quiet and more sedate.

Most of all though, I like the flowers.

Written by Martin
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