Scene From A Mall

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She was wearing
a lime-green cardigan. He was in black cut-off pants. The guard was wearing a frown as he politely escorted them out.

What’s remarkable about the whole thing was the way the woman kept alternately wiping tears off her face and swatting away the man’s arm. He was trying, I think, to comfort her. Ah, but she will not be comforted, she kept turning away, wiping tears and swatting, wiping, swatting, wiping, swatting.

It was a short distance from the mall door to where I stood in line waiting for a taxi, so that when the woman rounds the corner I am assaulted by her face. She looked to be in her late thirties, puffy eyed from crying. Her lips were very red, even under fluorescent lighting.

They head towards the walkway that opens out into the sidewalk. My gaze follows them. All throughout this short walk she says nothing. The man continues to trudge alongside, mumbling to himself.

Minutes later, from the taxi window I see them arguing on the street, arms flailing, gestures and expressions agitated. In that brief moment before the green light speeds us on, I am hypnotized by the O-shape of her red mouth, mutely registering distraught distortions.


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