The Jaywalker

A trailer parked on the side of the street. A bunch of people were busy with setting up cameras and lighting and actors I don’t know their names for a film shooting session. It caught my attention in the beginning as I was walking down the street. But not for long.

Outside the shooting area, there was a man in a hat and a trench coat walking comfortably until he reached in front of the zebra cross. He paused, noticing that the pedestrian signal was in red. Although it only took four (big) steps away to the other side of the street. A law-abiding citizen he was.

Until he changed his mind seconds later.

His stretched his leg to step on the first white line of the zebra cross when the red signal had not changed yet into green. Oh well, I probably would do the same if I were he.

Nope. He's the crew member of the film shooting, not the jaywalker
Nope. He’s the crew member of the film shooting, not the jaywalker

However, he didn’t succeed making his second step as a police officer suddenly asked him to step back from where he stood. The man looked surprised. So did I. The officer was like Superman – without the signature outfit and muscular body – appearing in time out of the blue.

The law enforcement member unintentionally blocked half of my sight of his face. Moreover, since he turned his back from me to face his law-breaker, I couldn’t see his face at all. I was too far to hear their conversation and to read the French lip-sync. However, I would like to satisfy my curiosity about what would happen next, so I stayed a little longer to observe both gentlemen.

The conversation started when the officer pointed his finger to the red signal. The law-breaker shrugged his shoulders with his palms opened facing upwards. He raised his eyebrows, his lips moved fast, trying to explain why he did what he did without being defensive. He ended his words by faintly shaking his head.

The officer took his turn to reply. The former law-abiding citizen fixed his eye gaze to him and nodded attentively. The conversation kept flowing and it felt like watching a non-subtitled silent movie in Technicolor. I had no idea what they were talking about, yet I could sense the less tension between two men after a while. Furthermore, he didn’t take anything out from his pocket, like a piece of paper or pen.

I was neither cursing the man to get sentenced nor questioning the officer’s authority. I was just expecting a climax, like truTV fighting scenes, or at least, an intense argument. Thus I didn’t stand and tremble in coldness in vain.

The conversation I couldn’t hear started to bore me. I was about to leave the scene.

Oh, wait. The red (pedestrian signal) suddenly turned green. The man was aware of that. He quickly looked at it and his body faintly moved forward to make his first move before it turned red once again. But he kept himself on a short leash. A moment later, he raised his right foot with the heel still on the ground. Yet he put it back with no further action.

Nonetheless, the police officer was still carried away with his storytelling. I wasn’t sure whether he was lecturing about the danger of jaywalking or telling about his new-born granddaughter. Regardless, the trench-coated man was reluctant to interrupt no matter what.

Later on, the officer noticed a glimpse of restrained impatient gesture from the man’s side and finally realized that signal was green. I saw his upper arm slightly swung back and forth from behind. Just a lucky guess, if viewed from the front side, probably he was actually raising his index finger and waving it a couple of times towards the law-breaker, to remind him not to do the same mistake ever again.

The man nodded, giving a sign of full understanding. The officer had no longer reason to hold him from crossing the street. He expanded his left arm, giving the man a permission to do what he had wanted to do in the first place. He didn’t ticket the man at all and simply let him go.

After that, both of them walked separately from their accidental meeting point. I left the scene for catching my dinner.

Despite not knowing each other, we shared something in common. None of us considered the shooting session as a point of interest on that day.