The old man and I walked side by side, respectably— slow as discipline. How long had he been alone? I thought, adjusting my pace, annoyed my face, annoyed that his age should steady our pace. For an instant I felt beyond my years, I thanked the lord that I was able. Supposing then I ought to be generous with my youth, I wondered, should I lend the old man my shoulder? I took a moment, paused, considered and yawned. I feared his hand falling close to my breasts. I lingered on the thought of his hands on my chest...when last had my breasts been caressed?
A little girl in a blue dress scurried past on a scooter, her left leg propelling, she blew the dust into our eyes. “They should put her in the bin,” I said. “Kids these days are like litter.” And a woman with a red rake dragged the dead leaves under the trees until a soft breeze threatened to re-scatter them. She rolled up her sleeves, she quickly gathered all the leaves like they were litter from the trees — could hide a litter underneath. Her giggling hips moved side to side, the men cried “June July!” Then wetting thin lips the old man smiled, “The little girl rammed her head into an oak tree.” I pondered on his thin lips moist with laughter; I thought upon the fullness of my own. Suppose I were generous with my youth I wondered. If we kissed, would our lips lock or would I smother him? The old man calmly put his arm around my shoulder, his null hand dangled over my chest. Short breaths, little steps, guard a nipple from a finger. There was a weight above my shoulder; there was a hand over my chest.