Putting My Feet in the Dirt Prompt: Small voices and grownup glimpses
She walked by us
at the same time everyday.
Around the block, up the street, sometimes she caught a bus
sometimes she took a cab.
She never said hello, she never scowled, she never brushed by us impatiently, she never
really seemed to know or to care that we were there.
I used to call her Shadow Girl.
Shadow Girl drifted through the crosswalks, down alley ways and around busy corners like a mylar balloon with ” Happy Birthday ” or Congratulations bumping along the ground because it didn’t have enough helium to carry up into the sky.
Her hair was dark, I know that for sure and maybe her eyes were too but I honestly don’t know because no matter how hard I tried, I never really saw her.
One day me and two of my friends from work went for pizza and we sat out under lawn umbrellas on little plastic chairs.
Shadow Girl popped up and sailed by us, her guitar was slung over her back, it was funny I had never noticed that before. Maybe it was new.
One of my co-workers ( Janet ) watched Shadow Girl with interest. ‘ Look at that. That odd girl we always see at the bus stop. She has a baby. I never saw her pushing a stroller before.”
Val looked confused. ” I didn’t see her pushing a stroller. How could she? She was carrying an armful of books.”
Each one of us probably thought the other was having a senior moment- after all we were headed in that direction and in a few years we would be there- and those Senior moments would simply became ” the way it is “.
We politely ignored each other’s embarrassing slip with reality, but as I picked up my slice of pizza I didn’t see Shadow Girl sailing down the street with purpose with her guitar on her back.
Clear as day, I saw myself with my hair trapped under the collar of my jacket heavy black jacket with my guitar slung over my shoulder. I saw myself not looking from left to right. I was looking straight ahead. I was going somewhere. I was sure of it.
I put my pizza down and picked up a napkin and pretended to wipe my mouth so that no one could see me cry.