Barbed wire hugs the wall behind the young soldier as he plays the cello. How could he have hustled it through the streets, still filled with looters and thieves?
A single stalk of corn struggles bravely beside the scarred building, audience to a misplaced world. His cap sits patiently on the stone bench, attentive. Perhaps there it finds something familiar in the music.
A woman inside the open window of the badly played song wears a scarf and a full peasant skirt with a light jacket. The soldier’s body leans in, tentative but unwavering. The moment in which his fate will be sealed.
For a moment only the perpetual banter of leaves and twigs along the overgrown path consuming the fading tones of the cello, the soldier’s posture unhinged in our imagination as we try to complete the image of the soldier replacing the cello with the woman.
She was not waiting anymore. She was progressive. She was offering
accommodations to a movement. She was expressed and she was forward and she was nearing the bus stop.
She watched the men looking at her as she walked and she invited them in.
The bus reeked of it. The bus was on its way. The bus couldn’t be held accountable.
Another woman was chastising her seat. It was not the way it was supposed to be. It wasn’t paying attention.
The bus stopped. The first woman sat down in the seat once occupied by the woman who got off. She tried to be patient. Men were waiting. Her life was getting started again.
The bus stopped once more and she led the men out of the tunnel. The stairs were one right in front of another, but there were a lot of them. At the top she looked back and at least one man was still climbing.
Ordinary time was not attached to the man’s wrist. Ordinary goals were not attached to the man’s feet.
Near the top of the stairs the man stopped and looked at the woman’s dress. It was not the same dress he remembered, and he wondered if he was following the right woman. He wondered if the right woman would be walking away like that.
The woman turned back from the next flight of stairs to see if the man still followed, to show the man he would be treated equally, to make equal exciting.
The next step was waiting for the man. The next step was not attached to the preceding step. It never had been.