As dancers glide from stage left to right, their feet took tiny steps as they crossed CP Garcia. His skin of dark hue set off her fair. Locked in a lovers' embrace, his right hand was sunk deep in her shoulder-length hair. Her head turned upwards, eyes fixed at some point in the early evening sky. I slowed the car, uncomprehending.
I had come from Chinese class, full of sheer joy in learning. I could read characters now. I could read! Laoshi showed us a nifty little Word download that would turn pinyin into script. Like a child with a new toy I was so eager to get home to try it on my computer. These days I so very rarely get this simple unadulterated feeling. It is cool-warm, a lightness of breath, an anticipation. But the joy was short-lived, aborted by the dancers on CP Garcia.
They grew large as I drove close. At full stop I let them cross, a lissome pair locked in tandem. Where before I could not make out his face now I see it to be distorted. His teeth are bared as he whispered her sweet nothings. Her face I could not see, but her neck was long, distended. His hand in her hair pulled closer, I see her body acknowledge the pain.
It couldn't have lasted more than mere moments but the image of the pair was imprinted on my brain. As I drove on past I imagined him doing to her what he could barely suppress in public. I winced. My neck hurt, my jaw ached, the floor fell from underneath my feet. My skull crawled as bright lights exploded behind my eyeballs. The little spurt of joy was extinguished and it stung. But I knew it was nothing compared to her pain.