There is a woman I see every day on the 1 Kipps/Thompson bus on the way to school. She is round and her jeans stick to her legs. Her black hair is long and thin, hanging like frayed thread just past her shoulders. Her bangs never want to stay tucked behind her ears.
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She giggles a lot for someone her age. Her face, pimpled and pock-marked, glows like brown play-doh.
Today a tall man with a plaid shirt and crooked glasses has his arm around her. He leans over and whispers something into her ear. She laughs and licks his face. Playfully. Fluidly. A quartet of young girls sitting at the back of the bus groan and throw small wads of paper in at them to no avail. Such displays make the girls uncomfortable; they prefer smoking cigarettes behind the basketball courts and swapping mentrual stories.
As I turn up my headphones I think about tomorrow, and how this rotund woman will be on the same bus, holding a different man's hand. Her new companion will give her thigh a good squeeze and she'll laugh, exposing two uneven rows of stained teeth. She'll rest her head on his shoulder and stroke the curve of his hand with her thumb.
Her fingernails will be dirty.
He won't seem to mind.
"Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen... there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change."
From his Last Will & Testament, Marquis de Sade