Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Chase

The streets were long, several running parallel to each other and connected by main throughways, a design I'd seen very little of in Hong Kong. I still wasn't quite sure where I was.

They were talking amongst themselves, mostly in Chinese, turning to look at me every couple of seconds. We parked on one of the parallel arms and walked further away from the main crossroad. The thought of running came into my mind again. And I did.

Slowly at first, because I wasn't really a hundred percent sold on this idea, and then after ten or twenty paces, I realized that there was no turning back and began to put my heart into it. I heard one of them yell out behind me. They were quick to come after me. I heard a car door close and the engine start; I'd soon be run down by a Hong Kong taxi. More flashbacks to Bruce Willis movies came but they were not what I needed. The hero always won because they were operating within the constraints of Hollywood, where heros always win. Here, I didn't have much hope that this was the kind of place where lonely guys who rode in taxis with strangers to strange places would finish on top.

I turned left down the throughway, slightly downhill, and ran near the edge of the street: harder to run me down with a taxi here at the edge, I thought. I heard the squeal of tires as the taxi rounded the corner. I was running fast, but this wasn't going to work. I just wasn't fast enough and I was running blind without any kind of map or plan except "run next to the building so you don't get killed." None of this was encouraging.

I saw a small alley across the street just ahead. I crossed to it and committed myself to a plan. But this wasn't going to work, either. The alley was closed in by buildings at the end. No gates or fences to jump, just solid concrete walls. The taxi closed in on me with John and Jane trailing behind on foot. I stood there, panting and out of breath, against the back wall. Ready for a fight, I took three steps forward to give myself room to move.

"Are you stupid? Where are you going to go?"

"Look, just let me go, alright? Just tell me what you want? I think this is all just a misunderstanding."


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