She continued to walk towards me and I glanced at my hands, wiping the dirt onto my old jeans. I became suddenly aware of my shiny reddened face, my hair all stuck to my skin and loose from my cap. I stayed kneeling, somehow feeling safer closer to the earth as her clicking heels sounded nearer.
A metre from me, a mobile phone rang out one of those catchy dancy ringtones. The footsteps stopped momentarily as she answered the call ‘Yes?’, then moved away from me in a purposeful beat.
* * *
It’s not a rare gift to be an observer. There are many individuals who like to watch. But it always feels a little devious, like peeking at Christmas presents – that somehow, with enough visual clues, I will know. I’ll know something, some thing that others miss, that’s embedded in the fold of an ear, the double-knotted laces, the brushing of hair off a shoulder. What I’ll do with this information, I have yet to decide. Can I put it into words even? A pertinent question.
And so I sit in a cafe drinking soy cappuccino and a monster piece of carrot cake (which I’ve asked to be served in a takeaway container) watching the man with headphones playing a guitar outside the window, the woman with the voluptuous backside strutting past, the school kids laughing on a bench, the waitresses giving me friendly smiles.
In a cafe I sit and write.