We huddled together on the wooden bridge, so close our arms and legs nearly locked, angling for the briefest of glances of something pure. A man in a white uniform directed traffic. His arms were wide and he became like a stone post, face a mask of grim determination, body merely an obstacle in the road. People flowed like water from a dam. They bottled up behind him, full of an intense pressure. And then suddenly they shot loose, the way open.
The color attracted us desperately. We leaned over the railings. Below, a creek that ran through a narrow valley under the bridge. A riotous rainbow of leaves dotting the trees that lined its way down. I smelled sweet sugar from the nearby vendors preparing their food. Even though it was not yet sunrise, a heat rose from the thick crowd and the man next to me removed his glasses and mopped his forehead with a handkerchief.
I felt dizzy, and I grabbed onto his jacket to keep myself upright. He wrapped a thick arm around me and drew me close, speaking a few words in a language I didn't understand. I understood the concern in his tone, and could only nod. Somewhere in the crowd a child cried out.
We waited for that glint of light to ascend, to crest the mountain and illuminate us.