A Manhattan tragedy
She wore a light purple down jacket, her long, stringy streaked hair hung heavily from lack of washing but she didn’t seem to care. Out she stepped onto the curb, coffee in hand, plastic nail salon flip-flops falling off her feet. She had a woven pattern of white tissue tucked neatly in between her toes. A sudden gust of wind sent her hair flying in all directions, making her heavy locks look like swinging daggers. “It’s the best way to dry them”, she nodded to her feet, catching my gaze. There were her toes, the tissue and flip-flops but what struck me was the strange choice of color - shining all glossy and fresh - carefully painted on her tanned, dainty toes. It was somewhere between mud and clay, all the polish names popped up in my imagination. “Clay de Sol” or “Muddy Waters” or: “Hello Mudda", even better: “Roll in the Clay”.
“Where was she going?” I wondered. Maybe she was off to Yoga where other pedicured feet postured to downward dogs and happy babies. It would be a room filled with chic, toned young women clad in colorful stretch outfits, designed to show every curve. They all would have impeccable pedicures but her color stood out from all the reds, pinks and corals. It matched her difference: sort of grunge-dirty and different. The insouciance of a “who cares” attitude also reflected in her unkempt prettiness. She waved her mud flags as she wiggled her toes. Mud clay like a mud day, which got me thinking of the intermittent mud season in Vermont. Somewhere between winter and spring, much like her winter purple down jacket and the spring-ish flip-flops.
The light changed and we took our cue, crossing the avenue. The tissue unraveled, trailing behind her quick steps. Another gust of wind blew her hair in a pinwheel pattern. Barely making the light, she bent down to catch the train of tissue and tripped, spilling the coffee all over herself ...and the carefully painted toes....
“FUCK!!!!!!” she yelled as the traffic bore down the avenue, narrowly missing her.
But she was too wrapped up in her own dilemma and her toes, now bathed in a darker hue…