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Winter

I think it was Jon that said it standing in front of the Lickety Splitz in Bellflower. Pair of girls walked into a liquor store, near our age but classier in the starting winter chill of Southern California. Warm day turned into cool night so the long coats over mini skirts more fashion than function.
‘I like girls that swish’ he said as they piled into the car and drove into the night. Both of us left to wait and wonder. Nothing for us but to stand around with no plan or goal for the evening, give up and head our separate ways to repeat the night a few more times before I left. Stellar end to a stellar week.

Hurrying to my bus in Seattle I’m reminded of that saying. Almost midnight on a Friday near Downtown, a long day at two jobs, covered in glitter, grim and grief. Waiting to get home and put the last 14 hours of various bosses, double standards and box pushing behind me. Drink a beer, watch some cable and try to make a weekend out of it. Ignore the cabs dropping off well dressed sophistos, hipsters and the past 30 set trying to hold onto the illusion of youth. Dressed to the nines in either too much or too little, stumbling down uneven streets to some poorly lit bar that traded in more ambiance than alcohol. Dark but never dank which is what I wanted at that moment a place to lose the past day.

Past a young man too gone with exhaustion to care wanting to be home, peel off his workman blacks and get to bed.

I envied them. But had that vague feeling I couldn’t go into their world. Something kept me out of it.

Maybe it was the faded blacks, the tool bag or the glitter that looked like I lost a fight with an elf. Either way they passed by with only dirty looks as I waited for my bus.

‘Does this bus go to Ballard?’ it was soft and sweet breaking me out of the funk that was brewing. I looked over. She was even less prepared for the winter than me. Wearing shorts and chucks, shivering under a long crocheted (or knitted) sweater, ‘Yeah should be here soon I think… not sure really’ she asks if I had a long day and I laugh admitting it didn’t seem that way at first. She smiles looking somehow out of place from the Friday crowd just a little detail betraying the whole. I ask what brought her to Seattle and she tells me about her friends and family. Mentioned a brief description of places far away as I waver between awake and asleep nearly forgetting her name as the 15 pulls up.

She climbs up, hesitates, pays and sits down. The bus is half a block away before I realize it was yet another chance I missed.

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