August 26, 2002

Glitter

As yet another bright evening descends on the lovely streets, she embarks on her routine walk down the avenue. For those few moments all life comes to a standstill as she gently floats past the cloth shop, the vile grocer and the newspaper stand. Where she comes from, where she goes, no one knows, only the routine and just the routine stays the same. Anticipation and expectation fills the hours till her arrival, recollection and reminiscing is all what it leaves behind, which fills the air as it floats around glittering in the low evening sun.

Crouched on the pavement the tramp carefully collects the glittering specks and puts them in his little dirty bottle, a lifetime's worth of specks - he grins with his ugly teeth and an unmistakable but misplaced fondness on his face. At nights the specks retain their glitter, emitting a faint and warm glow, but one that is strong enough to keep the heart and body warm even on the coldest winter night, when he has to crouch and contort his body a bit more to fit into the latest refrigerator's cardboard cover.

There is a melancholy in her smile today, the specks are slightly moist and they do not glow, a cloud of eventuality looms over the town, her gait is slightly hesitant. As she reaches the tramp she slows down and pauses for a bit and looks at him. A single shaft of sunlight breaks through the clouds, enclosing them in a illuminated circle, the tramp's bottle glows and her melancholy vanishes. A little heart peeks from behind her dress, and another one does the same from behind his tatters, and they smile at each other. The moment passes, she recovers, walks on and is never seen again, the tramp's bottle falls and breaks. He tries frantically to get the glitters back, a cold wind blows them away, they are lost to him forever and so is his smile.

Many a year has passed, on a cold winter's night an old and frail tramp is struggling to get into his new cardboard home, they are getting smaller and smaller every passing year. He draws on a roll of tobacco, which provides him warmth and grants yet another form of slow death. Between valiant attempts at breathing he tries to keep the embers glowing inside a tin cup and takes refuge in the almost non existent warmth it provides. Alerted by a familiar but weak footsteps he looks up, to see her standing there and smiling at him as she did on the day she disappeared. She was, much aged and frail now, but was smiling without fear or melancholy and he smiles back.

The two hearts peek out again and they smile at each other. They walk away hand in hand from the odd couple. A sudden gust and the air is filled with the same old glitters that the wind had taken away ages back.

The dead body of the tramp was found at the pavement the next morning, from his hand they could not remove the bottle of glitter that would not stop glowing even in pitch darkness. They had to bury him with it. She was found dead in her apartment, nothing much was known about her other than the fact that she had a wonderful smile on her face that even death could not take away.