Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day (cleanskies) wrote,
Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day
cleanskies

mannequin pollution protest


cheeky mannequin
Originally uploaded by Jeremy Dennis.
Most of the mannequins (and some of the statues) in Pancevo were wearing facemasks, joining in with a protest against local pollution levels, but it would be a crime to cover up that perky grin. And the pollution?

I really began to notice it on the monday morning; there was little wind, and a cap of cloud, over the town, holding down the smog. I had half an hour before the bus, time enough to walk down to the river if I stepped on.

As I turned into the square that led down to the field by the river, I noticed a woman stood with her child, looking down the street, and a few metres further down it, a man in the exact same pose. A little further along was a kid straddling his scooter, just as still. I squinted though the hazy air, trying to see what they were watching, but there didn't seem to be anything there.

I walked down the street ten paces, trying to see what it was that I was missing. A little way past the woman I was stopped dead in my tracks by the sheer weight of sick air, thick sick chemical smog that bruised your mouth and stopped your breath.

For a moment I stood there, stunned, still as one of Pancevo's masked mannequins, wishing I had a mask, and then wondering if what I was breathing could be stopped by a mask.

I wasn't going down the river. I wasn't staying here. As I turned away, the others started moving, too, as if I'd broken some spell; and the man, catching sight of my green hair, scowled at my intruding face.
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