LED traffic light in Forest Hill, New South Wales.

Fence-straddler? Where did they get that from? What’s Red talking about? How does Red even know what Green thinks unless they have some weird intuitive link? They’ve never even seen each other. They couldn’t’ve. Unless it happened when that man came to fix us a few months ago.

Yes. Of course. That’s it. They must’ve been on at the same time. Chatted and come to that conclusion. When I wasn’t there. Behind my back. Like bitchy little humans. Maybe that’s why my circuits were burning that time. Unless, of course, I’m the link. The heat from my wires still warm when Red or Green light up again, the heat telling them what I am. Or what they think I am when I’m Amber. Nothing more, nothing less.

Fence-straddler, though. Why that? And if I’m a fence-straddler what does that make them? Extremists? Fundamentalists? But – no. I should rise above their petty name calling. I’ve never seen Green and probably never will, unless we break again of course. Why would I be nasty to something I’ve never seen? I don’t even know Green’s gender and they’re calling me names. Maybe I should give them a piece of my mind, maybe I should, though – no. No. I shouldn’t make judgment calls. I’m better than them. Yes. I’m in the middle. A little bit of both of them. The best of both of them. Yes. Amber. The best. Yes.

But why call me that? Why be so bitchy? What’s wrong with plain old Amber? Have I done something wrong? Are they jealous? Yes, that must be it. I can’t help it, being the one in the middle, the either/or. And where would they be without me? I’m important. That must be it. Yes.

Wishy-washy? Now, wishy-washy? Where do they get this from? Is that what it is being me? They get stop and go. Dynamic. Clear cut. And I get slow down and get ready. Maybe speed up, though that’s more the drivers than me. And what’s that Red said about fence-straddlers being the first to go in a revolution? Surely we should stick together, me and Red. We’re primary colours. Green’s not. And I’m in the middle, in the middle, in the middle. I’m part of Red. Without me Red’d be alone all the time. I give him some variety, some company. Why does Red mock me when I’m the only one ever on at the same time as him? Unless you count the Green Man on the other side of the road, but he’s too far away. How’s he going to talk to him?

No. I am who I am and I can’t change that. So why tease me about it? No one laughs at the Red Man or the Green Man, and how stupid are they, pretending to be human when they’re just the same as Green and Red? Who needs a shape when a colour’s enough?

No. I don’t care. Yeah, I don’t care about them and their name-calling. I mean Green and Red. What? Stop and Go. How boring is that? Look at me. I’m way more interesting. I’m stop and go. With Red – get ready, go. All on my lonesome – slow down or stop or get through as quick as you can before Red takes the limelight again.

I’m complex. Yes. They’re as Green and Red as Green and Red could be. They couldn’t handle what I have to handle. They’re not fence-straddlers. No. They don’t even have another name. They’re just Red. Green. Red. Green. Nothing like me. Not at all. Everyone knows what Red is. Everyone knows what Green is. With me they get confused. I mean stop and yet they go. I’m an Amber light. I glow. I’m on when Red’s on. I’m on alone. I’m both of them. They couldn’t get on without me. I protect them. How may crashes have they seen? They need me. A fence-straddler. Yes, a fence-straddler. A fence-straddler. What are they? Red. Green. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m Amber. I’m a fence-straddler. Yes.


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