What We Might Never Understand

Written for practice

there’s a crowd in the next room – huddling on the broken sofa and metal folding chairs – all formed into a rough circle

as if by prearrangement they’ve all tucked in their chins – tucked them into scarves and sweaters that are pulled up over their chins – over their lips seeking warmth

through the glass window I watch their eyes – I watch their eyes dart back and forth





a tiny young girl with dark hair and an orange wool coat and an orange knit beret of a slightly different shade is slowly and purposely cracking the knuckles of each hand – her legs extended straight out in front of her – crossed at the ankles – with her chin pulled back against her chest and tucked inside her bright wool coat she looks bored

there’s a heavyset and broad shouldered guy with straight blonde hair





he sits on the edge of his seat and watches the girl with the beret his rust coloured flannel pulls tight across his belly – button holes stretched and about to tear

he is speaking – addressing the group until he stops and they all seem to applaud politely

some of them stand and one of the standers grabs my attention she had been sitting with her back towards me facing the rear wall – her ass is wedged into a tight pair of skinny black jeans she wears a light brown cable knit sweater

when she moves she walks straight across the circle of seats and pauses at the other side where she leans down to speak softly to a balding man who has his chin tucked into a navy blue scarf that has been wrapped around his neck a couple of times

as he listens he crinkles his forehead and knits his brows – she straightens and he nods his head once then studies the floor analyzing the linoleum tiles that she has just traversed she turns her head and waves to the group

she’s older than I thought I think as I watch her head towards the door

nervous eyes follow her as she pushes her way out and disappears into the night

then it hits me

they’re twelve steppers

they’re twelve steppers who cannot trust one another

they’re trying hard to fix what they might never understand