Asphalt Kamikaze

Asphalt Kamikaze
Fecha de publicación: 
4 January 2023
Imagen principal: 

Although temperatures are cooler and anyone could freeze outside, on these rainy days the number of kids chasing cars to slide on the wet asphalt, as if they were skating on the Rockefeller ice rink, in NY. But no, there isn’t a large frozen mass, it’s asphalt, hard, slippery, and deadly pavement.

It’s not a new issue, it’s almost historical in avenues and intersections like any traffic light in Boyeros; 60 and 31 streets, in Playa; 100 and 51, in Marianao; or Cuatro Caminos, between Old Havana and El Cerro municipalities.

They move in packs. They look like a swarm of ants on a sugar cube. They hold onto trucks, buses, any type of vehicle, although they prefer those that are large to go unnoticed. They usually go on foot, but they can also appear on bicycles or skates.

They are usually very young. Sometimes among them appears a grown-up who wants to pass as a youngster, and, on the contrary, makes a fool of himself. They wear slippers, with little clothing. The euphoria is noticeable, they like the hassle.

They act under an unknown motivation, blinded by the sole interest of having fun, feeling the rush, challenging luck, I don't know. Kamikazes I tell them because there’s no way to see the fact without risks. The cost is too steep. So many lives have been lost like this, so many accidents cause!

On the other hand are the drivers. When they notice they are hooked onto the car’s bumper, they spiraled into a rage. They react in different ways. There are those who stop the car to wait for them to just run and choose another prey; others speed up zigzagging wanting them to give up, but that attitude may well cause misfortune. Also not a few get upset, yell at them, threaten them, and some even dismount and get physical with them.

Yet them, the kamikazes, respond under the pack effect, reassured by the group, driven by the desire to challenge and assert themselves. He who gets tired loses.

You know very well the stories of others who did not survive because they slipped under the wheels, rushed towards the curb at 100 km/h, or a thousand other ways to die. They also know who had the best luck when they were mutilated and now live at half capacity, or in the care of others. But they don't give a heck. Right now they only seek high thrills, live in the moment. They don't think about the future, going to the grocery tomorrow, hugging grandma in Christmass, or having a child in August.

It’s not enough to scold them peacefully, nor to shake them; nor explain the risk to them. Sometimes they don't even learn their lesson after a scratch, but later they do regret it when the evil is far greater than them, when there’s almost no time to say goodbye.

It's raining, the street is wet, and there are the asphalt kamikazes waiting for the green light to throw themselves at the first car that passes by and serve as a springboard towards happiness or death, it doesn't matter, the rush is the same.

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