The Red Cap
He got her, it had been awhile but she’s such a cinch to spot when she’s there.
Sporting that unchanged red baseball cap. That boney arm, its elbow jutting out while digging in her back pocket for sweaty, crumpled cash.
Defeated, he thought not, but such a wisp of a woman—the alley cat kind—still averting her eyes to the ground. A size zero, she might as well not exist, but that dime-store smear of lipstick emphasized her big mouth, thin lipped and smirkish.
He watched as she grabbed a nozzle and shoved it into the fuel tank. He watched her stare at the pump’s meter as she adjusts her red cap. No reason for her to look around but she was aware, she always behaved as if she knew.
He tapped his cigarette box on his wrist and extracted a smoke.
She aged and the red cap couldn’t save her from it. Her eyes had become deeply set into that skull, though her eyes remained big and wide, as if they had seen too many horrific moments. And even from a distance it looked obvious those heavy lids were ready for the finale. Holding on she gently removed the pump and carefully placed it back on its hook. After extracting her receipt, she stuffed into the back pocket of her 501’s. She looked towards the highway and looked at the ground as she stepped into her car and slammed its door. Safely cocooned music blasted.
He decided to watch for a bit, then maybe he’d go his own way. He wondered if someone else was taking her for granted. Hold on! He glanced over at the CD player and selected one—the right one that would suit the situation. When he looked back at the road she was gone.
He drove on for another two minutes, swiveling his head, and peering into driveways, and parking lots, nothing. He turned his car around and cruised the opposite direction. She was gone. And hold on, he only looked away for a second. How could that happen?
He checked his rearview.
Was that wafting smoke and a broken guardrail?
The CD player serenaded, “… but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
Hold on! The right song played on.
To be continued …
The Red Cap