Sentinel of the Crosswalk

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

Sentinel of the Crosswalk

The crosswalk button was not having its best day. It had been a long and boring night, like most nights, and no one had wanted to cross since eight fifteen the night before. Well, no one who had been willing to use the crosswalk button. The cloudless night had brought an unseasonal chill in the air, and the crosswalk button could feel the cold and dew trying to seep into its circuitry.

The crosswalk button often wondered about its place in the world. Even the well-behaved members of society took it seriously. Many and plenty were the hordes of people that walked right on by, paying the crosswalk button and its coworker, the signal light, no attention. It just could not understand it. Why ignore such useful items that were only there to help them? Were their lives so filled with exciting moments that they could not pause to push gently on the crosswalk button’s nose? Why was this poor denizen of the municipalities not allowed to fulfill its purpose in life? The signal light could at least glow. The crosswalk button could hear it all through the empty night. The signal light beamed. It hummed as long as there was a red hand to display. It almost seemed smug; full of mockery. The signal light seemed to have a “you are beneath me” attitude in the crosswalk button’s opinion. Granted, the crosswalk button was actually beneath the signal light on the pole, but they had both been installed the same day. They were supposed to be a team. Frustratingly, the white hand of quiet would only silence the red hand of buzzing if someone would push on the crosswalk button. Oh, how the crosswalk button longed to be put to work. Not only would its resources be put to the task, but it would also cease the constant bragging of his upstairs partner.

The sun had risen about an hour ago. The crosswalk button could just feel the rays of sun trying to warm the world it shone down upon. Sadly, the crosswalk button was made of metal and would be the last to fully raise its temperature. No, its best hope for warmth and excitement was for some person to come along and push on its nose. There was a small gathering of joggers in the area. The crosswalk button took comfort that there could be a female jogger scurrying by at any moment. There were a few women joggers that were his favorite. They had soft, warm hands; especially when they wore gloves. Long fingers, wrapped in soft cotton, were the best possible way for the crosswalk button to warm up. Plus, there was just enough traffic around this time of morning for people to be concerned about being run over while still enjoying the world which had not fully awoken. Yes, a nice female exercise-nut would be just the thing.

Children, on the other hand, vexed the crosswalk button. If teenagers came along, they would crash on the button. Filled with impatience, they took out their hurried energy on it. They pushed. Then they pushed again. And again. The crosswalk button had no defense. It could not respond, it could not fight back, it could only sit there and take it; it was all part of the job. If the climate was humid enough and if there was enough water in its circuitry, there was a tiny chance that the crosswalk button could retaliate with a spark. However its mighty lightning bolt seemed to scare these youths about as much as static charges from fluffy carpets. The crosswalk button had to admit that they had all the power. It could only sit there and take the abuse.

Small children were troublesome too. If they had not been numbed to the crosswalk buttons presence yet, they too would push it repeatedly. They were not quite as abusive, but they were still persistent. The crosswalk button could almost find their curiosity endearing but for one factor. Their hands were perpetually sticky. If their little fingers were not covered in some adherent substance, they were covered in mud or goop. There was no telling where those hands had been and the crosswalk button cringed whenever they came in contact with him. The crosswalk button was always concerned with the amount of disease those creatures had residing on their hands.

The older they got, the less trouble people caused the crosswalk signal. Adult males had coarse hands, but they tended to only depress its nose once or twice before going back to talking to their wives or phones or whatever was occupying their time today. Yes, the pressed a bit loudly, but the crosswalk button could take some small abuse. It was made of forged metal, it had a resolute manner. However even the unyielding metal it was constructed of softened a little when it saw elderly people approaching. The seniors knew how it should be done. They took their time. They knew where they wanted to get, but they were not about to mow anyone over just to get their. Slowly and steadily they approached. When they did arrive, their hands; mollified by age, were fluffy. Their fingers were full of character and warmth. No one took more tender care than the elderly pedestrians. Aside from the warm joggers’ gloves, the senior citizens were the crosswalk button’s favorites.

The crosswalk button did not know when its break would come. Someone would come along and give it a break from the signal light’s omnipresent manner. Some person would want to travel across the road legally and responsibly. The only thing the crosswalk button could do was stay resolute and wait for them.


About Cosand
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

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