It was raining that last Saturday of March. The mist and faint damp smell associated with worms swirled in their gutters and alley way whirlpools. Heavy boots and a half opened overcoat smacked against the pavement, probably absorbing more water than they actually repelled. He held the duffel bag over his head, a makeshift umbrella for the night.
The grocery bag filled cart was in its usual place, pushed carelessly against the dumpster; the dirty pink blanket was half wrapped around one of the back wheels. But that was where normalcy ended. Her feet were splayed, one shoe missing. He bent to put it back on, but the foot did not comply. The blank stare and half smile said everything. The shoe laces hung limp again like her mousy brown hair, now without purpose or meaning to their owner. He sat back on his heels, clutching the handle of the duffel. His fingers twitched back the silver zipper and pulled out a new blanket. Tucking the green flannel around her shoulders, he sang silently under his breath; the King and I had always been Joan's favorite.
The street light flickered, the raw buzz of the bulb synchronizing with the patter of moths hitting the glass barrier, half dead with the efforts of the night. The man watched them and wondered if he was really all that different.
"On the clear understanding that this kind of thing can happen, shall we dance? Shall we dance? Shall we dance?"