We were both indulging in that uncomfortable sensation of being societally ‘free’. We had both walked out of our ‘place of work’, the clock-cards bore the burn of our exit, our numerical presence for the day had been sufficient. it would have been easy to anticipate that our smiles were suspended with what should have been ‘happiness on going home’. Afterall, we had both received the similar, sequential phone calls – the empty ‘hellos’ and unpausing ‘how are you’s’ with then the trapping, typical question – ‘so you’re free tonight, right?’
Right, Right, Left, Right. Left.
I attempted to confuse my own feet on the pavement outside the office block , stepping on alternate paving, not really looking around me.
I wore the raptured mask, the attempted stretch of skin over a mind turning, turning, turning. She wore not just a smile, but what seemed like a whole mouth painted in red. Like the overworked wound from grappling for language for too long. A jaw which hung as having been propped up by a receiver, seemingly.
We had undressed too, although only just out of the door, into an almost illicit layer of silence. She worked in a nearby office, which meant very little considering we were only part of a spiralling industrial estate and she could have worked in any room, at any time.
Yet there was a kind of immediacy with which I stepped out in front of her car.
Perhaps I wasn’t thinking. Or perhaps I had spent all day not thinking to have a sudden hot impulse of thought.
How inflamed – excited – even, seemed her eyes as my body jutted into the path of her vehicle. Perhaps her hands ran, in the mind’s eye, over the gearstick, to push the car into second and to plough onwards. She may well have felt the sudden jolt, not sure if body or exhilaration. For once, she would have felt what it was to have to a kind of power. We were suddenly both something incredibly different – for she was mechanical, a throbbing Jetstream of metal and machine oil. And I obstacle.
How close we could have been to BECOMING, several things, several different things, for she could have been witness to the rolling wheels, an unfortunate part of a ‘tragic accident’, a manslaughterer, murderer. And I could have been ‘unlucky’, ‘confused’ or victim.
Only we weren’t. Cold, distant, she snapped the car to a quiet halt and I crossed the road.