She felt it the moment he landed on her. Foreign, full of forbidden fluids dripping all over, the scrunch of cellophane clung with the streak of a dirty powder rubbing her sides, his very touch making her feel unholy, unclean.
Think of the sweetness, she ordered herself, hoping not to fall apart.
‘Ironic, ain’t it, the clothes we wear?’ he said after shuffling into something nowhere close to comfortable. ‘Me in black, dressed like a flippin’ Jihadist, you all in white.’
‘It’s quite fitting actually,’ she snapped back. ‘In our culture, we wear white at funerals.’
‘Sure that’s not so you can look like one of them virgins for your fellas up there,’ he couldn’t help saying.
‘Rubbish,’ she reviewed, tightening up. The bagginess of this lot’s morals, now that was one thing she wouldn’t miss. She could smell the cheapness in him, the reek of tastelessness.
‘You ever wonder,’ he said, like it was a lazy day they’d wake up from soon. ‘The words you heard in your mosque, the music I heard in them clubs, whether they meant anything?’
She did wonder. When you were in a nowhere town, in your nowhere place, you had to believe in something, that whatever answer may be blowing in the wind was more than the litter in the breeze. Drown out the rot with dreams of sweetness.
‘It’s in everything we do,’ she said.
They both heard the grind of the wheels, the screams of the ones they feared, hated, or longed to be accepted by, suddenly so much like them, all thrown into a pile of soon to be nothingness.
‘I always thought we was different, you and me’ he sighed. ‘Guess we both got crazed in our own ways knowing we’d end up in the same dump, huh?’
He somehow felt a little less darker edging closer to her blushing whiteness, an unexpected togetherness at the end of it all, looked on by passing seagulls as just another kooky pair of no consequence, the lovers on the street who left it too late to share the times they had.
By Shihab S Joi
Hat-doff: Bret Anderson, Richard Oakes