Every evening at a quarter past six, it’s light and action on Chipalo Road, the street comes alive. Waking up from its daylight slumber, the cars pick up speed, people come out to bask in a newly found sense of freedom.
The new, shiny lamp posts, standing close to the old, dead ones pour light onto a street that hasn’t seen such late night brightness for nearly 20 years, except on New Year’s Eve. The road itself was only re-laid five months ago after being overridden by potholes since the late 90’s.
For a fortnight now, when the scorching sun has set and the lights come out to play, people get out on the street to get some air. There’s tall and sort people, the old, the young and those in between. They walk in pairs, some walk alone and others in groups. Some prance back and forth as if memorising a speech, some swagger confidently, sure of themselves with every stride while others drag their feet, desperately pressing their heels against the asphalt.
Among these there are the quiet and audible ones. As you would guess the audible ones are seemingly more interesting. They talk about everything and anything from politics, what’s being served for supper and where to watch the night’s Champions League soccer match from. Some days they speak softly you can’t really make out what they’re saying, others days they’re so loud I hear them from inside the house almost as though competing for attention with the fast cruising cars.
And these cars suddenly pick up speed and fly by when the lights come on, as though powered by the street lights themselves. Perhaps in seeing the lights on, the drivers realize it’s getting late and try to rush home. Some do it do it for notoriety and for others I guess it’s a half heated attempt to be cool. Whatever pushes these motorists, they own my street, driving past each other with decreasing regularity till two in the morning when the street is deserted. By the time the sun begins to appear, the lights are off and the street slips into a light slumber with relative activity till a quarter past six in the evening.