Plaid. The only thing he ever wore was plaid. It would have been less impressive if he didn't always have the goth, near death look going on at the same time. Black and blue plaid jacket, tight brown and green plaid pants, black boots, it's true, but his socks were always patterned, some kind of dark textures that were old fashioned, like he'd stolen them off corpses from the cemetery. At least, his spiked black hair and generous use of eye-liner gave that impression.
I worked in a bookstore right on main, and every day I could see him through the large sheet window, walking by himself from his apartment to wherever he worked. I noticed other people, naturally. I'm a reader, someone who watches people wondering what their story would be if it was written out in black and white. Mrs. Johnson with the orange hair, who thought it was the nice auburn on the box, Mr. Gallipolis, who always nodded even if he was only agreeing with himself, other goths, but never with the plaid.
One day, I was locking up the shop when I dropped the keys. I hurriedly picked them up, then turned. Unfortunately this person happened to have a chivalrous bent, or some kind of bent, because in my down, turn, up maneuver I managed to smash him in the face with my forehead.
He grabbed his nose, I stood there with my mouth open, and my eyes watering, horrified. He kind of backed off, crouched like I might head bash him again at any moment. I stood there, nodding like Gallipolis and wishing the earth would swallow me, particularly when I saw under his hand a trail of red blood.
The after was blurry, me apologizing like an idiot while trying not to make eye contact, him bleeding, until I was home, happy, alone with worlds of books to distract me.
At work, there was no more window gazing, no more plaid fascination, no, only demure nothingness until the day when I walked into the back room, turned and saw a plaid clad lad standing in the door holding a bouquet of anemones right beneath his bandaged nose.
Yep. I need all the practice I can get for the flash.