Rhubarb

When mischief is brewing in her mind she licks her lips involuntary, usually in twos or threes.  When she flirts, she scratches an old ear piercing and thinks of gameshow themes to slow the pace of her heart – sometimes she misses sentences when the object of her desire is talking.  She remembers a game her ex used to play in their shiny office building – walking into one of the elevators and, rather than turning around to face the doors, actually standing in front of them, staring into the compartment, making eye contact with everyone.  That’s how they met; the doors opened and she saw twelve anxious people looking towards her for help, and the back of a man’s head.  She stood alongside him and the pair of them, shoulder to shoulder, stared, grinning as everyone began to examine the condition of their own shoes and watches.

Now she drives home over country roads, barefoot even in winter, the car heater blasting her toes.  When she gets home, she will perch on her bed and rub out the corrigated pattern left on her dirty feet from the pedals.  Coming home in the fog, as the road undulates, the lights from other cars will dance up and down like spirits warning of peril ahead.  Diving between low-lying mist, she imagines herself as a fighter pilot flitting in and out of cloud cover to shake off the Volkswagen MiG or Audi Spitfire hot on her tail-lights.  She increases her speed, so the white painted lines in the centre of the road disappear under her car to the beat of her music, as cats-eyes wink her seductively home.

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