Observation: The "Black" Woman
She lives on the 14th floor! When first I encountered her, I could not help but stare. She wore a tight black top, tight black leather skirt, black tights, black leather knee boots, and her raven black hair matched her black bag. Her pale skin glowed death-like in her pool of black. But her lips were bright red. It was fall. I could not envision her as a retail sales girl. You know, like when you walk into a cosmetic shop and are greeted by the scary swarm in black? At least, this is what happens in the movies. Her style looked more like a choice And not a trend, like goth or anything of the sort. It seemed "her." I can't really explain it. And once I became aware of her, I started to see her often. Did she just move into the neighborhood? Had she always been there and I somehow missed her? Then I would see her going to work. I assumed it was to work she was heading because of the early hours. And sometimes I saw her walking with a particular man, her husband? Boyfriend? She looks at him as one does another who means something intimate. When it got cold, a dull black patent leather bomber jacket materialized into her outfits. She is never in pants when I see her, always the body-con skirts and dresses. But the bright redness of her lips alters, sometimes it's replaced by vermillion, sometimes rose. She looks Slav. I think she is Russian. She is about five inches taller than me, but then she is always wearing heels––platforms, often, alternating between 3 to 5 inches. So maybe she is my height. There is something interesting about her and it seeps through the way she carries herself––at once aware and unaware: captivating. The way she wears her black, it is difficult to imagine her in anything else. How does one wear the same color everyday? When she stepped onto the elevator that carried me––this was about two weeks ago––was when she pushed the button for the 14th floor. It felt odd. I sort of "know" her and I could tell she was not even seeing me. I got out first and wished her a nice day, her "thank you" sounded Slavic. Maybe she is Russian. A few minutes before she ended up on the elevator with me, I had been on my way home and in front of the apartment building my attention was lost to a skinny little girl in red: red sneakers, red skinny jeans, red bomber jacket, a red backpack, and a red hat. She was about to climb into one of those yellow school buses, but right before she did so, she looked back. I followed her eyes to observe "the 'black' woman," smiling and nodding encouragingly at the little girl. She then climbed onto the bus, the door closing behind her. Ha! I thought, the "black" woman has a "red" daughter!