She always did wear an outrageous pink dress with a matching skirt like an open umbrella. Of course there was also the matching hat, a sombrero-sized thing that looked like a fondant fancy. She was well known for that peculiar fashion sense. That and sitting outside the coffee shop in the town centre every Wednesday for a few hours. Her dark skin was neat, like ironed clothes, an extraordinary accomplishment for any person, especially one who was coming up on seventy.
With her cup in hand—she always brought the coffee shop’s brand cup for them to fill up—her pinky would dance about like a fidgety child. Her eyes would wander and if they so happened to bump into the line of sight of someone observing her, she’d offer up a greeting, a gentle wave that could barely disrupt the flight-path of a fruit fly.
Most people would act all strange, averting their gazes or rushing off in a direction they had to reverse back on moments later when they thought she wasn’t looking. However, those who weren’t so selfish waved back. And so those two would warm up to each other and strike a conversation about the smallest, or largest, of topics. When I spoke to her, we shared stories of climbing trees in our youth, when she’d ask if I’d ever gone back in recent times, with my aging spine, to climb that tree again. Of course I said I hadn’t.
However, there was one ruffian who refused conversation in a manner that no child should ever see, let alone the eyes of the public, soon fled like a defeated bully when he saw her draw a plastic sword she hid with the bloom of her skirt.
“It’s always good to prepare yourself for the worst, no?”