They ran back and forth in front of us
this was some sick game
some sort of show
played out on a local level
where people were thrown into disarray
stress applied
a timer ticked within their heads.
There was nothing futuristic about it
the timer was invisible to the naked eye
but its presence was obvious.
We never saw someone run past us
more than once
speeding from hallway to hallway
just as we had
to get here
to be able to watch.

We laughed
not in judgement but remembrance
of our own runs.
The panic
the anger
the complete frustration
those were distant memories for now
kept within the shared space
of public embarrassment
and forced ignorance.


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