The city's rules are all plotted out in paint and light. The city wears its own rules like a series of fading tattoos. Driving, biking and walking in the city one quickly finds that the rules are more or less guidelines for idealized transportation. Driving down second avenue, the lanes disappear. Occasionally dots and thin rules appear solely for the sake of confusing the motorist. Then suddenly a gorgeous Sunday drive appears to your right, a road leading to verdant sun drenched canyons. In New York? Why not? Never mind that it's raining. Cross two lanes without signaling and make that sharp right into paradise. When the subsidized firefighters arrive in a truck bearing a full-length video ad for Shrek The Musical you wake up just long enough to see that those hills were just a painted scene on the side of a green grocer (but how did those joggers and that guy on the recumbent bicycle get in there?).
The playground on the other hand has repurposed all of those lines and made hopscotch, and four square. Kids play red light green light imagining the unbridled thrill of stop and go traffic. The whole poisonous world dangles like a carbon monoxide piñata just out of reach and the collective thrill of imagining that it is indeed full of that strange secret energy that allows adults to take themselves seriously. That juice that powers listening. A dozen red dodgeballs whiz across a single line drawn across the basketball court.