The black coat

This is the way she walks home, every day, even on Sundays.  It’s easiest, or safest maybe, in the summer.  The dark winter nights frighten her more, although she welcomes the cover they give.  In her long, black, heavy coat, she is unseen.  It’s filthy, but on the colder days, she can’t do without.  Besides, the deep pockets are perfect for her precious stash.

So on she moves, one foot barely passing the other, and the unconcerned traffic races past.  She has already spent her hard-begged twenty p’s, and the blended colour darting in her peripheral vision tells her it’s working.  The black coat staggers unevenly alongside the steady stream of traffic lines – an uncomfortable contrast.  No-one wants to see her, and even if they did, the encounter would be a flash, quickly forgotten.  She knows all this, she knew much more once.  Most of it is a blur now, but sometimes, she remembers.  Sometimes she wishes she could stop the rush, and make them see her, the way she was, the way she hates being now.  Sometimes she wants to tell them that they are only a few steps away from being her, the slow, black dot beside, outside, transient colour.

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