A February Morning


We stand near each other in the elevator. Him resting his back against the wall, hands lightly gripping the railing that runs round the perimeter at waist height, me standing parallel to him, my arms crossed over my stomach. I’m wearing the new, green, ruffly, winter, scarf I picked up for myself while I was supposed to be Christmas shopping for others; a black, wool coat; fingerless gloves; and a happening green and white cap. My fingers worry the fabric of the scarf; pull at the soft strands of the ruffle’s edge.

“I started smoking at 50. All my old vices had grown tiresome,” he says. I look at him and smile. “I never was allowed to be a child, while a child,” he continues, wryly, one eyebrow sliding upwards as he stares at my left temple.

“I know what that’s like,” I say, and move my closed, right fist up towards him for an I-feel-Ya bump. He looks surprised at my fist bump offering, hesitates, then laughs, and touches his knuckles briefly to mine.

“Well, I’ve seen more than 60 bands in the last 9 months,” I share, tentatively, somewhat embarrassed, and keep my eyes fixed on the fake wood grain of the floor.

He stands up straighter, his chin rising, chuckles, and then adds a: “You go, girl!”

I look up. Our eyes briefly meet. We’re both smiling now.

The lobby reached, the elevator door slides open. We step out and see the grey of the grey day bleeding through the plate glass of the front doors and walk on.

Julie Ayers


About Julie Ayers

Seasoned apocaloptimist, keen admirer of well-placed words, fierce mama bear of extra special children, black belt hugger, and advocate for a fashion rebellion which elevates the most human of hearts to socially acceptable outerwear.

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