I watched a man waiting at a bus stop. He was smoking a cigarette. With one hand in his coat pocket he blew clouds into the cold evening air. His cigarette between his first two fingers glowed at its tip which expelled a lick of smooth smoke. The smoke swayed upwards and dissipated above his head. He scratched his bearded neck. I could not hear the sound but I could feel the scratch pass through me like a shiver. His eyes jumped from side to side as he walked up and down the stretch of pavement by the bus stop. He leaned his head into the road to look to the distance and see if his bus was coming. Then his bus arrived and he sucked a long drag from his cigarette before flicking it aside and hopping on and snaking away down the road and out of sight.

I watched the cigarette he dropped smouldering on the pavement. Still it licked the air with smoke. Half of it was burned away but the rest was still a wellformed cylinder. It glowed orange at its tip. Then a shoe stepped on it and it was flattened and extinguished and it emitted a final wisp of smoke as it died and became cold. I could not hear the sound but I could feel its tiny hiss pass through me in a chill. I watched and I was cold and I was sad.

I watched the shoe which stepped on the cigarette walk on. It was worn by a woman in a black hat and a black leather jacket and a black pencil skirt with pale skin and red lips and curly black hair and long fishnetted legs. She walked quickly with her hands in her jacket pockets. I watched her breath condense outside her redlipped mouth. I could not hear the sound but I felt her breath touch me like a kiss. She raised her eyes and they met mine and she looked away. She swung her head from side to side as she looked up and down the road before crossing. Her curly black delicious hair danced as she walked away from me. She looked back at me and quickened her walk. I watched and I was cold and I was sad and she was beautiful and she walked down the snaking road and out of sight.


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