Friday, 21 December 2012

street olympiad

Cold gray Istanbul morning.  My collar turned up against the wind.  Passing hordes of black-coated men and women heads bent against the cold. Carefully sidestepping puddles and those nasty little loose bricks and cobblestones that splatter pants legs and skirt bottoms with dirty-gray polka dots, I look up to see a young man sprinting across the busy street.  High cheek bones and narrow oblong eyes - like a young Turkmen Olympiad he lightly lays both hands atop the iron railing of the Tarlabasi Boulevard traffic island barricade and in one lithe moment vaults up and over, his lean body momentarily sideways breaking gravity. His dark-blue windbreaker flapping up behind him, then down.  He pierces the gray morning with an act of heart-rending grace, slicing through the dull gray morning with a Technicolor act of nonchalant beauty. Smiling, I gaze after him, and then continue on my way, stepping more lightly over the puddles.