Red

Published November 2002

She’s always there. Is she following me?

In the periphery of my vision I sense her fiery presence every morning. There she is!

Am I following her? It’s possible, I do feel drawn to her ruby colours. I don’t think I’m doing it consciously. But you never know.

She dresses well, not expensively but trendily in that slightly scruffy way people have picked up in the last few years. Chemically red hair running
straight onto her shoulders, like a statement from Mao: ‘The Dragon Hair’. And a red coat, precisely matched to the hair, warm in colour and
construction; it sits well with her slightly pale English skin.

I don’t think we’ve made eye contact. I haven’t really tried, I think the red intimidates me. But it could just be that she’s a woman, they are ever
so vexing.

Why would she follow me? Are they onto me? Maybe she’s a stalker with some horrific perversion? We don’t think of women being perverts
normally. Why is that? If she was a sicko would she be so red and obvious as we wait for the train?

I don’t think so. It could just be a natural, youthful lust for me. You may scoff but it’s possible, she looks young – well no more than twenty-five
– and lusty, in a restrained way.

Maybe she’s a student studying art. But she could be one of those Israeli agents designed to seduce and extract information for the Zionist
cause from the pillow talk that would surely ensue. God! I hope she is…

I sure I’m not following her. It’s just my routine that I follow every morning, like the other zombies clambering around platforms and trains in
the hope of a gentle start to their day. But I do think about her… no, there’s nothing wrong with that. She just has the same routine as me and
naturally I’d notice her. It’s the redness, you see.

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