They laughed and did acrobatics in the rain, because that’s what the young do.
They ran across the slick pavement before slamming the brakes on high-end sneakers so they would skid and slide like ice skaters across the pools forming on gray concrete.
One turned as he skidded, the momentum pushing him effortlessly backwards as his hands made a little “ta-da” motion for his impressed friends.
They were 19 and immortal.
As the rest of the crowd huddled under awnings or in the covered entranceway leading down to the Jackson Red Line stop, the young men laughed and pushed and performed for each other on the broad State Street sidewalks.
Wearing young urban outfits culturally filtered from baggy prison uniforms, the young men oozed wealth. They pushed. They wrestled. They teased each other in Arabic as the rain tumbled ratatat from the skies.
One posed a second rigid and upright under drenching skies. The first took a few steps back, then launched himself over his friend, pushing off from the second’s shoulders as if over a human pommel horse. His legs kicked to the skies as he vaulted his friend.
He almost landed poorly on the slick pavement. An ankle and expensive sneaker momentarily jutted angles they shouldn’t.
But he recovered, perhaps running a few more steps than he intended before he stopped. The momentary worry on his face went hiding as he turned to face his friends for the claps and laughs he earned.
The rain poured down from the heavens. The old scurried for shelter. The young immortals danced.