She must be crazy, I think, as I pass her by in my car, my silvery, rolled-up-window car, with the heater hot and airy and the music loud enough to drown out sirens and the back and forth swish of windshield wipers. Her powdered-white face despite brown arms, neck and legs, and a short satin skirt in the rain make no sense, umbrella or no. Trudging up the steep street in tall shoes guarantees a spill. She has to be crazy. I wait at a stop light and she stands on the corner, her face blank, unblinking, as she stares at me through the misty window. Why does she wear such thick and unyielding white makeup, red lipstick a prickled pear fallen in a snowy desert? She’d look like a geisha in another time, with more care, with grace and silk and cultural intention. I press the gas, and zoom away. She stares at me still with her masked face as she crosses on the yellow, disappearing from my view.
She must be crazy, a mental patient wandering, I think, as I scream songs within the car’s walls and worry about my gas mileage, driving past the newspaper fronts showing death in desert markets as innocents buy food and toothpaste and nod to their neighbors before blowing sky high.