First impressions

posted 01 March 2005

A lady, glimpsed through an icy bus window misted with condensation and streaked with rain. On a freezing morning in earliest spring, she stands at a bus stop surrounded by strangers. I wipe my gloved hand across the window to clear the mist and observe. Surrounded by surly teenagers in black hoods and old men with skin as grey as their coats, she stands alone in pale beige with a delicate pink scarf wrapped securely her neck, her golden skin and hair glowing healthily against the background of a grey world, a concrete city. She is like an angel fallen to our mundane earth, bewildered by our world. But is this glowing innocence genuine, or the calculated edifice of careful cosmetics and good wardrobe? I decide to search for evidence.

She continues to stand, occasionally glancing left or right, and once directly up at me, on the top floor of the bus. Does she notice my attention? I glance away for a few seconds, but then return. A new bus arrives, and it stops behind mine - she will have to run to catch it. Her expression flashes suddenly to annoyance, her body language impatient as she pushes past others to get to the bus. So, it was artifice then.

This whole episode, from initial observation and the manufacture of an elaborate illusion to it subsequent shattering, has taken perhaps 20 seconds. Just another brief moment from the life of the city.

Work is still a madhouse, so have the above excessively detailed, pretentious drivel I composed on the way to work today. You liked the crying goth so much, after all.
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