Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Pulling deeply on a Marlboro, Lou leaned against the soft drinks machine under the escalator, and waited. Any moment now, through a halo of smoke, she would appear.
He had fallen in love with her, two weeks ago, in the cafe across from Bourke's hardware; and all within the time it took to bend down to pick up the spoon she had dropped at the check-out. He got there before she did, and as he raised his head and the rest of his lean body, he no longer felt the floor beneath his feet, for he was floating, and so was she, as the rest of the queue remained anchored several miles below. Red hair, red lips and red dress spent a lifetime with him in those twenty seconds. 'Thank you,' she smiled, as her fingers brushed his, to retrieve the spoon, and then drifted towards a window seat. He sat well away, in a corner under a Klimt print, so that he could watch how she did the little things: like stir her coffee; check her phone; pull down the hem of her dress over her knees; then fumble in her handbag to refresh her red lipstick . She was of the sun; of that there was no doubt, and he would love her like only the moon could, if she smiled at him again. Would you care for a top-up, sir?' splintered the waiter. During this distraction, she had left and he stumbled over to the window and saw her on the edge of the sidewalk, waving to someone across the street. Lou took in every physical aspect of the man now crossing towards her in front of a snarling line of cars and cabs, stuck on red. The intruder stopped and stood in front of her. He moved his head a little to the right,to look at her, and raising cuff-linked arms, he sighed. Then drawing her red into him, the usurper swept her away into his greyness. .
Two evenings later and bored with his article: 'Obama is an Alien', Lou decided he needed a drink.... several actually, and left the office early. He hated the sub-way at this hour, but he couldn't take another 'frigging' word out of that prick's moaning mouth. Why couldn't his boss say 'fucking' like everybody else. He picked up some cigarettes at the drugstore next to the subway. Shuffling along, slowly, behind a class of field-tripping Junior High School kids, his irritation was overtaken by a rush of red hope. Twenty or so subway steps beneath him, he caught sight of the red hair. He battled his way through the over-excited children and there she was again, carrying a briefcase next to her green. She reached level ground several seconds before him. Once he landed, there were no more flashes of green or red....only the greyness of strangers.
Pulling deeply on a Marlboro, Lou leaned against the soft drinks machine under the escalator, and waited. Any moment now, through a halo of smoke, he would see her, and the sun would smile at the moon again..
Maureen Walsh - October 2014
Ciao for now!