Men in suits and sunglasses trudged along the pavement, weary expressions on their faces. Even though this was the start of the business week, the general mood wasn’t overly enthusiastic. But the guy with the scruffy beard, for all practical appearances, didn’t look like he was working that day. As he stood still under a glorious morning sun, looking across the road at the source of his momentary pause. She stood with her hand poised over the parking ticket machine, dropping coins and pressing buttons. Under the white of her exposed upper arm, he could see the perfect curve emblematic of full natural breasts. Her abdomen clung to her shirt in a smooth, imperceptible rise. It was the thing that struck him the most, and her back-lit figure accentuated the perfection of this bend all the way down to her hips. Like two curvy sand dunes traversing a magnificent sunset, joining arms to form a scene even when both of them stood at disparate distances from the spectator.
In this case, how far, the man with the scruff couldn’t tell.
He soon found out when she turned and walked a few steps further from him and dropped a ticket on her dashboard. As she walked back again in his direction, apparently heading to her work place, she looked up in a puzzled bewilderment. The distance between her two proverbial sand dunes was disproportionately small. For any other guy, this manly frame would have invoked a misogynistic joke or an indignant dismissal, but for him it was a huge turn on.
He crossed the road and walked over to her car. He glanced stealthily at the expiry time on the ticket placed neatly on the dashboard and proceeded to his work.
The next day.
The man with the scruff was up late this morning. His work allowed for flexible timing. He could report anytime as long as he closed his target. And unlike struggling salesmen, this guy had a secure client base and could afford to be an hour late to work and dress in modest clothing. Not that this diminished his sex appeal, he knew he had the looks and the physique. If the woman’s stunning figure conjured up an image of sand dunes, his toned body looked -he hoped- like convoluted, hardened volcanic rocks.
He came back this morning to see her car in the same parking lot. He didn’t have any business in the area. He was supposed to be somewhere else, attending the needs of other customers. He came back here only for her. He knew from checking the expiry time yesterday that she most probably worked around that area. And that she’d certainly be back at that time to put in a new ticket. Routine. He’d have a chance for another encounter. Maybe this time he’d introduce himself, or maybe concoct something to get her attention.
The man -who still had a couple of days worth beard on- waited and waited. The expiry time came and went and she didn’t turn up.
Maybe she got busy. He thought. Stuck in a meeting or something. The absent bear their excuses with them. I’ll wait for a few minutes longer.
As the man waited under the blazing noon sun, he got more irritated and his eyebrow furrowed in annoyance. Beads of sweat started rolling down from his forehead down his sunglasses. He wiped them with a kerchief and put them back on, a smile spreading across his face.
The parking inspector took out the tiny electronic machine from one of the giant pouches on his uniform and worked the touch-screen. A moment later a fine receipt rolled out of the slot and was dully placed on the windshield of the woman’s car.
After all, you never know what lies at the dark swathes between the dunes in a desert-scape.