McS’s Feet

It was one of the last really warm days of autumn. You know the kind of day I’m talking about. It’s the day right after you start to notice that the leaves have really all turned into wonderful shades of red and orange. It’s the day right after you start to move all your heavier clothing to the front of your closet and the top of your drawers. It’s the day that takes you, and everyone else, by surprise and makes the atmosphere seem happier for no reason except that the wind is blowing warm and soft and the sun is shining and the birds are singing.

Only it wasn’t day anymore. It was evening, now, the wind still blowing warm across the young faces wandering around the not-very-well lit paths. The sweet notes of a guitar strumming were emerging from one window while a heavy bass note could be heard through the walls of a building across the way. The smell of marijuana was thick in the air as it almost always was, while still seeming to be entirely smokeless. The leaves rustled in the dark tops of the trees, and now and then one or two would flutter down to the ground, hitting a shoulder or arm on the way.

Through the partial darkness, McS walked in bare feet. She walked along the gravel paths serenely, back arched just a bit – maybe naturally, or maybe because of many years of dancing. Her blond hair was cut short, with just a swoop of bangs across her forehead signaling that she was style-conscious. Other than that, she defied convention. Her face was unadorned by makeup, her clothing was simple and usable, but she carried herself with such confidence that your eyes couldn’t help gazing at her with a sort of awe.

One of her toes bore a ring, but other than that, her feet were completely bare. She wasn’t afraid of glass or stones or twigs to come in her way. She didn’t even glance at the ground as she made her easy, charmingly swaggering way back home; her shorts and tank top clung to her, showing off her muscles and her curves, while never seeming tacky, flashy or exhibitionist.

Her feet were bare as she walked, and she knew – just knew – that she could walk around the entire earth if she were to put her mind, body, will and heart into it.

Winter Romance

Rain patters down on the plastic roof outside the window. The breeze comes through the slats, fresh and delicious, bearing with it a smell of clean, sweet moisture. The sounds of the street are slightly muted, everything growing hushed in the soft rain. Even buses, with their monstrous thundering and their creaking halts, sound soft and polite as the drops come down lightly from the wispy gray clouds.

As the drizzle grows into a rain, the light seems brighter, more cheery. The small comforts of home – the sweatshirt flung on the back of the chair, the cat curled up in a ball on the couch – become more cozy and endearing by far. Even as the rain turns into a respectable downpour, the home becomes the perfect nest, wonderfully familiar, all of it softer around the edges somehow.

If only the rain could go on all night, it would accompany the soft light of the reading lamp and the soft rustle of pages as they are lovingly turned in their spine. A rain of this sort can only herald the sweetest and most comfortable of sleeps. If only it would go on all night.

But alas, all good things come to an end, and quickly, all too quickly, the autumn rain disappears, leaving behind it a comforting memory, a slight shiver of joy and a disappointed girl, who wanted to stay up all night reading with the rain.