18/01/2010 by etiennefish

It was the quick and steady beat- click, click, click, click, against the rhythm of the music that caused them both to look up; until that moment, each of them lost to the tempos of their own drums. Telltale white earbuds protruded from their ears, and they walked almost in unison, almost parallel, against a rising tide that threatened to send them whirling away into the night. It was the clicking of heels that startled them out of private reveries, marking a beat that their own soundtracks couldn’t override, but it might have been each other that caused them to take a distinct notice. A guy and a girl, startled strangers who never shared a word or even a direct glance, but together embodied a strange type of solidarity against the seething mass of black that threatened to overcome them both. He and she, the only beacons of light, stood shining in sparkling reds, dazzling blues, and the most emerald of greens. Mohawked and pierced, and probably tattooed, they marched together with pride in their uniforms of faded jeans and worn-out chucks, upstream and against the surging deluge of unrelieved black; black suits, black trousers, black coats, black skirts, black heels, and black boots, on a dark night, following a dark and dreary day. They held their ground, not hoping to win, but to merely survive the onslaught of homogenisation, uniformity, and mass-produced chic, in a city drowning in it’s own self-righteous diplomacy. There may have been a quick smile, barely flitting across his face. She may have nodded, the most ephemerally brief of movements, too fleeting for anyone to catch but him. It was their moment of recognition, their quiet glory, as two regular people, a guy and a girl, recognised a brief shared spark before turning back to their music, and disappearing into a crowd of people walking in the opposite direction on a chill January evening.


2 thoughts on “Upstream

  1. Raphaelle says:

    THIS is the kind of writing I live for.

    I owe you an email bigtime.


  2. […] This is probably one of the posts that I love best: Upstream […]

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January 2010
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