It was a dark, moody night, I’d been chasing dead leads like a dog with a broken tail chases a rubber shoe down a blind alley full of tears and cynical calicoes.
She stood there in the gloom- her eyes told stories- stories of mystery- broken needles and empty spools. Stories that drive a man mad. I would have followed her anywhere- all the way to the remnant bin and back. She had that kind of power.
My eyes scanned the faux wrap bodice of her crinkle chiffon blouse. I could tell she had used a self- bias tape on the neckline- she was obviously far too clever for me, but I kept looking. She turned and gave me a look at the raw silk obi wrap that gripped her rib cage like a fat man clings to a full rack of baby back ribs that he spent his last sawbuck on. I liked it and it liked her.
Her shoulders moved sinuously beneath the heavily darted kimono sleeves- daring me to ask about her facings. I knew, sure as I knew that God made little green apples and a sinner loves an unguarded collection plate that beneath that exterior, she had French seams.
As the smoke cleared and a lonely train grew near, she turned and in a breathy whisper- a whisper that told of late nights working the graveyard shift and trying to wring tips out of too many tables of travelling salesman with nothing but Blue Plate specials and Poughkeepsie on their minds.
‘Burda, Burda –7126′
‘Wait’, my heart cried out like a baby cried for a kewpie doll at a cheesy carnival – what did it mean? Don’t strand me, Angel Face- tell me the story!’
The trains lonely whistle shrieked like a poodle with its belly fur pinched tight in an argyle sweater- she turned once more and gently gnawed on her lower lip, while I gnawed on my past.
Finally she spilled- like a snot-nosed punk kid with an overfull glass of moo juice reaching for the last of the flapjacks.
‘The story never changes, Baby- I omitted the collar and the side zip, left the sleeves to hang like broken wings- the rest is by the book, Baby.’
I never saw her again, but I’ll never forget that night as long as the cruel Gods of Fate and J Ed Hoover let me keep riding this God-forsaken kiddy car of a planet.
What did it all mean? I’ll never know, but whatever, it was Buffalo and I needed an egg cream.
Psst- color pics on Pattern Review.
Photo credits: meadhawg. All images remain the property of their original owners.