HE paces, front, back, and back again.
Hands labouring across his bare head, subconsciously smoothing his palms across the back, making sly contact with the curve in his neck. Dark fingers unknowingly acknowledging the black stubble hair, growing back, disturbing his bald scalp in the London air.
Eyes in front, focused, wondering, planning, draining every irrelevant thought but in his faith to run. He descends one arm by his side, stops his pace, as his other arm is flung by the side of his brightly coloured shirt.
Microphonic noise enlightens the room, thousands of voices echo across his face. The crowd vessels a wordless glory of sound waves across the stadium, loud, but steady a visually impaired blanket of interest. He taps the toe of his shoes to the track, name called over the mic, “Usain Bolt.” Euphoria belts and crashes challenging the air. The sound streams through the track, across his shoes, it touches his face, the roar of the crowd, from every country, you can hear it now – respect – honour – love.
He darts both feet out, further apart, stern, out of line with his shoulders. Slightly bent knees, elbows raised out, hands in front of his face, and slowly, he pulls his right arm back further, elbows out, his left arm extends upward, tilted now from its initial horizontal. Diagonal, straight out, finger pointing to the sky – like a bolt of lightening.
He rests, traces his palms across his head once more, brushes his forehead and paces, front, back and back again. He steps over his starter, unnervingly, every ounce of verbal energy evaporates, the air closes in, it packs every crevice, every space… he takes his mark, the gun cracks… He doesn’t pace, he bolts.