June 6, 2013

The Lovers

Late at night, on a Wednesday, a man and a woman board a southbound train together at Charing Cross. Holding hands, they skirt a subway pole and settle in the seats nearest to the train doors. The man is dressed exclusively in Adidas product: puffy, white Adidas sneakers; grey Adidas sweatpants; torn, white Adidas t-shirt (non-Adidas chest hair emerging defiantly at the neck); and a white Adidas baseball cap.

The woman, who is uncommonly pretty, holds a glittering blue handbag in her lap. An oversized leopard print shawl envelops her upper body. She paws and strokes his bare arms, and nuzzles softly against his neck. She teases him with almost-kisses, touching lips just to pull back abruptly, then revealing, as his eyes meet her face, a coy but reassuring smile. Then she kisses him more deeply, openly, and as the bill of his baseball cap prods at her forehead, she reaches blindly to push it out of the way.

The man recoils. "Don't touch the hat," he barks. "That's the one rule I have."

For the rest of the train ride, they sit in silence. She regards him with unmatched longing while he stares away, at a fixed point in the distance, bound by his honour.

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