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You Think You Can Jaywalk Across Spruce Street to Lower Quad Better Than I? Watch This.

Photo by Pixabay // CC 2.0

My hands are sweating. I’m Usain Bolt in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. 

I inhale through my nose.

Exhale through my mouth.

The traffic light is still green. A Nissan Ultima with blacked-out windows zooms past my face blaring BackOutsideBoyz by Drake while the bumper scrapes the road. A PennRides minivan quickly follows behind. 

I’m staring at the green light. My jaw is set, heart racing. It’s been exactly 4 seconds since the traffic light was still green. The trolley rumbles in the distance, and I think of everything that has led to this moment.

Next to me, my opponent stands still as a gazelle. She’s confident, breathing steadily. Her head is turned to the right, watching the cars whizz by. A strand of hair that has escaped from behind her ear as air blows in front of her face. She pretends not to notice me.

Suddenly, the air pressure changes. The sky darkens, and a sliver of lightning splits the world in half. My opponent takes one step forward. This light is still green. It’s been exactly two seconds. 

My heart skips a beat. It’s 5:38 PM; rush hour, and there’s a string of cars still in front of us. I can’t even see the finish line. I don’t believe it. 

I take two steps forward. Smoothly. Swiftly. Eyes forward. JBL TUNE170 headphones are on. The red hand on the other side of the road daring me, teasing me. Thunder cracks in the distance; my arch nemesis takes another step to my level. 

I smirk the way that they do in animes. You wanna play now, don’t you? I voice in my head the way an anime villain would. I turn my head ever so slightly in the direction of my opponent and give her the slyest of sly glances. She’s shouting at me and gesturing toward the cars, but I can’t hear her. 

“Watch this,” I say with no chalance. 

I’m Lightning McQueen in the World Grand Prix. I take another step. 

As the car to my right slams its brakes and horns in my face, I realize something has gone wrong. Tail in my ass, I run back towards the sidewalk. 

At this moment, the light turns red and the walk sign is on. My arch-nemesis strides past me and casts me a bewildered stare. 

“Fucking idiot,” she says.