It's so strange. I stand at the cusp of ...something...I grasp at words darting just out of reach. I am not sure quite how to describe it.

My attorney stands beside me with a broad grin. He looks forward to this duel on Friday. My counselor stands beside me with a broad grin. "Call me as soon as you leave the field. I want to be one of the first to know".

It's so strange. Both of these people are hired guns, one on my left and one on my right. The excitement is palpable in the air, hovering around me, mere feet away. They can taste it, yet they have no emotional investment in the outcome. Waiting for the meeting at dawn of a "gentlemen's dispute". Coins slip from my fingers into outreached palms. Fighting for the lady's honor?

It's so strange. This time in the predawn, I stand on the convergence of these dusty roads. The wind is whipping up my hair, blowing it into my eyes and snagging strands upon my parched lips. Dingy white skirt pressed against trembling legs, my body is drained close to depletion. My knees beg to crumble and plant my form firmly into the well worn path of crossing traffic. This place I can not stay for long. The Earth still spins. The sun still rises. The world will awaken and move forward as it has done since the beginning of time. To stay in such a place is to invite injury.

It's so strange. Looking over my shoulder down the road just travelled, I still find it difficult to see beyond the catastrophic tearing up of the path. An underlying layer of sadness and regret for the might have beens tugs at my petticoats. Laden sighs and vinegar tears alternate with sylphlike relief.

It's so strange. Turning forward towards the rising sun, I am blinded by its brilliance. Squinting eyes, and hand cupped over weary brow do not make it any easier to see what lies before me. Determination pulls me to my feet, brushes off the dust and reminds me of the appointed hour. It has been brought down to the basics. It's a matter of survival. The sky is changing. The white gloves are off. It's just so...strange.