He’s only 25, the streets are etched on the palms of his hands. He loves the streets, especially on nights like this. He loves the streets, not for the neon lights or for the panoramic skylines. No, he loves the streets for what it hides beyond the dark corners, the poorly lit alleys where the twilight souls like to venture. He goes to the streets to watch the parade. Six inch stilettos clicking on damp pavements, semi-nude bodies dressed in leather and lace, flirtatious lips bloodied with lipsticks, imported wigs and weaves, love measured in quantities and sold to the highest bidder.
It’s the only way he can meet her… from a distance
Touch her…with his eyes
Talk to her… in his head
She’s perfect today – nude stilettos elevate her long legs, smooth, it’s like looking at refined silk fabric, like something only a royal would wear. Her sequined red dress, hugs her possessively.
Her face is tilted to the best angle, posing like a vintage subject of Annie Leibovitz. Her face glows, ethereally under the moon, like she’s been unwrapped from the inside out so only her soul is accentuated. Men have fallen for a lot less…
He watches her…from a distance, at a corner behind the streetlight post. He wants to steal her in snippets, savour her bits by bits, he wants to imagine her when he leaves the streets. When he goes back to Caroline.
He watches her as she leans forward on the imported Toyota, as she puckers her lips. He clenches his jaws, crushes jealousy between his teeth, he hopes the man behind the tinted window rejects her
He curses his soul when her face drops to the pavement, clouded for a moment by the dust from the speeding Toyota
He’s mesmerized when she opens up a smile like wild carnations in the morning of spring. Perhaps she’s thinking that the Subaru Imprezza gliding from the corner has a room for her in the back seat. Or maybe he should seize this moment – he can beat the speed of the Imprezza. All is fair in love and war.
He skirts across the puddles, skids in the damp pavements and lands with his face in his palms. Clumsy, a timid soul, never one to lift his own head. But somehow relieved for stealing the show, relieved for landing at her feet
Like he’s ready to beg her
He’s relieved that he knows a decent motel in town
He wants not to corrupt her body. Or charm her with his pocket change. He wants to listen to her stories. Stories of another life, another fate. Stories she owns but no longer deserve. Stories from a time when she sat at her father’s feet to catch droplets of love. In these stories, her mother scoops her into her arms and swings her in the air. In these stories, she’s the princess everybody dances around, against a background of dribbling African drums. In these stories, love is genuine, there is no buying, no selling, just genuine hugs, kisses, smiles, love letters wrapped in ribbons, songs for lovers.
He can see her life welling up, flowing out through her eyes.
“You could leave all this behind.”
“And where would I go, nobody wants a woman like me.”
Her eyes seem to rupture through his heart. There is no turning back now.