So sorry for the long silence! I'm back now and seem to have my feet under me again...
Walking to the main library on an autumn evening, the sun casting long shadows on the ground. I see two men in vigorous conversation, arms waving. As I get closer, I see they're speaking sign language. It is an argument. One man's gestures get larger and faster, like he wants to scoop the whole street into his arms. In sign language, this counts as shouting.
The other man gestures back, quietly. The first man drops his arms to his sides. They look at each other, and the first man opens his arms. The second man steps into his embrace. The sun outlines them as they hold each other, then slowly separate, their hands on each other's shoulders. The first man lifts one hand, touching his fingertips to his chin, then moves the hand out toward the other man.
This means "Thank you."
On the train home later that evening; it's dark outside, but a breath of gentle air washes in when the doors open. A punk gets on the train. Four-inch double mohawk, pierced eyebrow, lip, ears. Studded collar and tattoos covering his arms and neck. Leather wristbands.
He's talking on his cell phone.
"I know, I know. She took it with her, and I don't begrudge her that, you know? It's just, I miss her."
His eyes fill with tears. He looks down at his hands, listening to the voice at the other end.
"I don't want to lose her," he says, his voice going hoarse.
My skirt blows around my legs as the doors open, and I step out into the night.