We’re thirty minutes outside town when the roads clogged. Luggage racks, road snacks, dogs barking out windows.
She’s thinking behind a pair of sunglasses. “You want coffee?”
After much thought. “It’ll be a madhouse. Don’t bother.”
Her mouth forms a perfect “O,” then shuts. She says the word “Fawn” to no one in particular.
The first thing I noticed in her room was the mess. Clothing and food wrappers rose like hills over a dirty floor. I unearthed old novels, brown, with their covers ripped off.
The best secret was camouflaged; incomplete love letters. Suddenly I wasn’t sure who the fawn was.
In that road raveled by swift feet and roving eyes the mannequins still and frozen look on unfazed.
On their perches and slightly elevated stands, they stare wearing faint but sly smiles on their unchanging faces. Decorated, white skinned and brown haired they’re an odd contrast to the crowds that pour through the streets. Some that are naked, pitch black, bald, and without any facial features are being shuffled around by men. Their faces are turned and in that direction they stare an eyeless stare.
One has silver hair and a broken nose with cracks becoming mosaic. A few in suits and backs against the wall guard the dust covered entrance to a shop. Gold glitters on hands, chests and necks behind dusty glass. The crowds thin and slow along side these appendages which are always black in color. One bust ends at the nose, just enough to include a sly smile.
A standoff between unarmed torsos runs from either end of another shop. No one sees them, no one wonders and tries to follow the slanted gaze of those mannequins that look out to… something, something far away. They rattle with the traffic, long before the crowds take notice of screeching horns. But they never move,never tire of their stares. What are those plastic Venus de Milo’s smiling about anyway?
Having spent all day indoors, I decided to venture outside to make sure the rest of the world was still around. It was, and the fresh air felt like a pillow being pushed up against my face.
I breathed it in and noticed my neighbor peering at me from his balcony. He and his 70’s mustache are always out there; I’ve always wondered how he has resisted the urge to play with his phone or go inside to stare at a screen. When the robots take over and pay us in internet usage privileges, He and his mustache will be peering stoically at us from some mountain, cloaked in brown robes. I drew my head back in and grabbed a collection of short stories by Nabokov. The orange streets light right outside my house poured over the stairs to the house upstairs. Reading under it seemed extremely tempting for some reason.
Another neighbor, the meek one with the meek name I can never remember, slithered through the path to his house and stared from the corner of his eyes. I lower my head but returned the glance. He slipped away into the shadows, the curious fellow. I noticed the black railing of the stairs I was sitting on were wet and the blue house directly opposite had be colored a darker shade of blue by the rain. I scanned the road and listed to the vehicles surge past on the main road, just out of view.
I realized I hadn’t read a single line and that the shadow of a moth buzzed across the pages bathed orange light. I put the book aside and looked for the moth under the street light.