She is leaning against a window, staring out onto a city that's slowly changing. It's a large, tinted window, monitoring the parking lot quietly. There's an exit to her left, there's an exit to her right. I exit left. My car is to the left. I turn right.
I passed right in front of her line of sight, I forced myself not to look. What was I thinking of myself just then? Better yet, what was I trying to do? I'd make an awkward circle back into this door to her right, stride past the vending machines, and then....what? I tap her on the shoulder or give her a hug and pretend like I thought she was someone else? Actually yeah, maybe.
I don't know, I didn't care. I had just all of a sudden seen something I knew I wanted. I wanted to know. Just to see her face. Maybe she was only 15 or something, maybe she was 37. Maybe she had a beautiful name. Maybe she had 3 kids and a mortgage. I was ignorant. And fully aware of it. And highly dismissive of it. Drunk on initial misconceptions. All I knew about her and all I cared to know about was her skin. Some of it. And her shirt. And her hair. God, her hair. It was this calm, forgiving reddish-orange. It reminded me of the beaches at dawn, sand wet with saltwater and blood. So thick, so ominous. And quiet. And safe.
What color are your eyes? What shape is your nose? How would you play me off? I just wanted to know more. I wanted to throw my arm around her shoulder and smile. These people will never know how being a stranger in public can affect the people around them. She was so successfully attractive, or at least as far as I knew. She was the perfect stranger, and I wanted to let her know.
Today? I don't remember a thing about her. You know what I remember? I was unnaturally brave in my other encounters with strangers that day. And that's what's worth something. Who cares about caution to the wind? Who cares about chasing rope? Who cares about Fleetwood Mac?