The streetcar was swaying back and forth.
It’s close to midnight and most of the seats are filled.
The only empty seats are at the back of the second car.
He finds a seat, facing south. He is sitting across from her. He can’t believe his luck. This will be a second encounter with this creature, this femme fatale.
Her nails are painted black and decorated with little sparkling gems. Her hair is jet black with peek-a-boo red highlights. Legs crossed. She is absorbed in her music blaring from her ear buds. She is madly texting on her phone. Her face expressionless, eyes outlined in black, lips coloured deep red. Her stockings are fishnet, ending just below the hemline of her tight short mini-skirt. There are 2 inches of bare thigh, exposed and he notices.
She is a mystery, that is precisely her allure.
She doesn’t notice him sit down across from her. The man-boy, holding a take-out bag and jug of milk, wearing nondescript grey jogging pants with a dark blue jacket. His mouth is gapping.
He stares intently at this woman. She isn’t noticing him.
He reaches across the streetcar aisle and taps her on the knee. She looks up from her phone, her music still blaring.
He sweetly tilts his head, smiles and manages a mock-surprised, “Wow, we meet again, how are you doing?”
She is polite and responds with “It’s good to see you, I am doing well,” and brings her eyes back down to her phone, dismissing him.
He isn’t sure what to do. He wants more. He wants a conversation. He wants to let her know how much he’s been thinking about her since the last time they met.
“I’ve tried calling you a few times but I never got an answer from your calls.”
Pause. She pretends not to hear him.
“I hope you are doing alright. I’ve thought about you an awful lot.”
Pause. This time there was a slight kick of her foot in acknowledgement. This gives him wings to fly.
“You look really hot tonight.”
Pause. There is no response. Not even a kick of the foot. He sits in silence. Watching her. He can’t take his eyes off her.
She ignores his presence and continues texting and turns up her music.
He fumbles with the pocket of his jacket and after a few moments produces a notebook. It’s a small, softcover notebook with an elastic band to keep the pages in place. He reaches back in his pocket to retrieve his pen. He keeps his eyes on her the entire time. He organizes himself, with one hand on his book, the other holding his pen. He opens up his notebook and for the first time, he looks down.
The page before him is blank.
He panics. What has he done. He has nothing to write. All he wants to do is talk to the woman, the creature who is tantalizing him from across the aisle of the streetcar.
He realizes his error in judgement, closes his book, caps his pen and puts them back in his coat pocket.
He sits a few moments longer contemplating his next move.
He stands up. His body swaying with the streetcar. The weight of his milk jug sending him twisting from side to side, back and forth. It’s hard for him to stand but he holds the hand rail above his head to steady himself.
He isn’t sure what to do. Maybe he should get off the streetcar at the next stop.
Instead he sits back down.
If she’s noticed any of this, she isn’t letting on. She keeps on texting with those long black, gem encrusted finger nails. And those stockings, riding down her thigh. He can’t keep his eyes off of her. His mouth is gaping slightly. If only he could get closer to her, perhaps touch her with his finger tips.
Then as if his prayers were answered, the couple sitting between him and his prize stood up to leave.
If his baggage was hindering him with his standing earlier while the streetcar lumbered along, it didn’t hinder him from gathering his belongings and snatching up the newly vacated, prime seating.
Within seconds he was beside her. His prayers answered. Her nightmare just beginning.