She walked on stiletto-stilts, high above the weeds erupting from the cracked footpath. Brilliant green and egg yolk yellow, the dandelion a sullen contrast to the broken, shadowy-grey. A flash of red in the peaceful morning, her faux-patent leather shoulder bag a pendulum in counterpoint to the click of heels against the concrete. Hurrying through the dawn.
She glowed, a vision, luminescent beneath flickering lights, radiant in the haze of smoke, perfect. The fragmentary confederation of colours: orange – red – purple – blue, the stop-motion of strobe lights. She flashed a smile, the musk of stale beer like sweet perfume as her eyes met mine. I looked away, a fluid motion – I had something to tell her. She was making this harder than it had to be.
I whispered in her ear, “I’m sure you’ll make someone very happy one day.” I didn’t whisper the rest, I left it unsaid beneath arguing guitars and the heartbeat, rambling drums. Pre-apocalyptic decadence dissolving into shock, into disbelief. I turned and left.
“I’m sure you’ll make someone very happy one day.” I didn’t whisper the rest, didn’t say “Somebody. Not me.”
She walked on stiletto-stilts in the early morning. Shattered glass sparkled against the pavement, a mirror of deadly shards against the bonnet of my car, buried deep into the upholstery. A single burst of yellow, an imitation of the rising sun.
She’ll make someone very happy – thank Christ it won’t be me.
Image from the Highway Cycling Group.