Photo Credit: Unsplash, Clem Onojeghuo
Alison buys a new hat from a bustling market stall at three o’clock on an overcast Sunday afternoon. She likes the way the feathers wave in the breeze and catches sight of herself in a window, admiring how slants of fluorescent light turn cobalt to turquoise. The coquettish perch of the hat on her head is instantly pleasing. It brings colour to a damp, dishwater day. People smile at her, say, what a pretty hat and for a moment, she is beautiful.
Alison doesn’t want the hat to get ruined, so she puts it away. Without it she becomes invisible. People walk through her, muttering about crowds and the relentlessness of rain. The new hat gets knocked from Alison’s hands and she tries to pick it up, but her fingers slide off the bag. Her body becomes liquid and flows with the dirty rainwater into the city’s crevices and cracks.
At four o’clock on an overcast Sunday afternoon a girl finds a discarded bag. She opens it and looks inside to find a truly magnificent hat. She puts it on her head and people stop and smile. They complement the glorious colours and tell her how splendid she looks. They are all so distracted by the way the feathers shine, that nobody notices a small hand reaching out of the gutter, searching through puddles for a way to be seen.